Commenting ahead of the launch of a new anti-wind power book by Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson, Dr Richard Dixon, Director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“Climate change is the challenge of our age and Scotland’s renewable energy industries are leading the way towards the kind of zero-carbon economy that will help us prosper in an uncertain world. Meeting Scotland’s 100 per cent by 2020 target for renewable electricity will make a huge difference to Scotland’s climate change emissions and on- and off-shore wind will be important in doing that.

“While there are certainly places no-one would think we should put wind turbines, we would be crazy not to make the most of the huge natural asset that is Scotland’s windpower potential.

“The truth is that most people think we need more windfarms not less. Struan Stevenson’s narrow anti-wind agenda is not doing the Conservatives any favours. Anyone who believes anti-wind policies will significantly boost the Tories’ electoral fortunes is making a big mistake.” On the contribution of renewables:

“More than a third of our electricity is now coming from renewables, 3 times more than a decade ago. Most of that growth has been from onshore wind power. The renewables sector already supports more than 11,000 jobs in Scotland.”

On reducing emissions:

“Official figures show that renewables are already saving as much CO2 as the emissions from a major coal-fired power station.”

On cost:

“On cost Struan Stevenson will no doubt suggest that wind farms are expensive yet they will soon need no subsidy at all, while nuclear power is arguing to get twice the current electricity price for the next 40 years. In Denmark coal-fired power stations are closing down because they can’t compete with wind power.”

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1. Common myths about wind power were debunked in a recent report by IPPR:
http://www.ippr.org/images/media/files/publication/2012/08/beyond-the-bluster_Aug2012_9564.pdf

2. Renewables in Scotland reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 8 million tonnes in 2011, according the UK Government figures: http://www.scottishrenewables.com/news/scottish-renewables-industry-displaces-8-mt-CO2

3. A Sunday Times survey across the UK showed that 55% of people thought we should have more wind farms: http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/ic8lcj9svf/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results%20-%20121019.pdf

4. Senior Conservative politicians in Scotland benefit financially from wind energy:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/tories-accused-of-hypocrisy-over-wind-farm-fees.20248628

5. Friends of the Earth Scotland, RSPB Scotland & WWF Scotland produced a report in 2010 showing that a combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy and interconnection investments would eliminate the need for any new fossil-fuelled power generation in Scotland. “The Power of Scotland Secured”
http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/sites/www.foe-scotland.org.uk/files/possv6final.pdf

6. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent. www.foe-scotland.org.uk