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Scotland breaks ranks on support for onshore wind

23 July 2012

WWF said today (23 July) that the news that Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond had confirmed the level of support the Scottish Government plans to offer the onshore wind sector stood in “stark contrast” to the “political games and infighting” in the Westminster Coalition.

Alex Salmond has written to the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey signalling his intention to publish the results of the consultation on the level of support which will be available to support onshore wind under the Renewable Obligation scheme.

The First Minister makes it clear that he has seen no evidence to suggest that the level of support should be cut by more than 10%. Levels of support for wind in Scotland have historically been set at the same level as those in the rest of the UK.

David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of WWF-UK, said "Alex Salmond has clearly lost patience with the political games and infighting in the Westminster Coalition and decided that, in Scotland, certainty for investors and relying on the evidence base will take precedent over pandering to a particular political faction favoured by the Chancellor."

"The Scottish Government has a clear and visionary goal to deliver the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's electricity from renewables by 2020, and clearly recognises that policy certainty will be good for Scotland's economy. The contrast with the Westminster government, and George Osborne's current failure to put the national interest first, could not be more stark."

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland added: "The Scottish Government has shown very welcome leadership on an issue which was beginning to threaten our renewables revolution. The change in the level of support reflects the fact that the cost of onshore wind is coming down, but set at a level that will still maintain investor confidence. Scotland's 100% renewable target is a great example of how strong commitment to a low carbon economy builds confidence, cuts emissions and creates jobs. In the coming months we hope to see similar ambition to improve the energy efficiency of our homes.

"The Scottish Government also has the opportunity to show the same leadership on the issue of an emissions performance standard for polluting coal and gas plants, an area where the proposals from the UK Government risk undermining growth in renewables by giving the green light to a new dash for gas."


For more information:

George Smeeton, Senior Press Officer WWF-UK
Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk

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