Wind farm ‘may save £45bn’ in costs

June 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Published on Tuesday 5 June 2012 15:18

A wind farm that has enraged US business tycoon Donald Trump could help cut the cost of renewable energy production by £45 billion, according to its developer.

Mr Trump is bankrolling a campaign to scrap an 11-turbine test site off Aberdeen Bay, near his luxury golf resort.

Developer Vattenfall has told Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee that sites such as its European offshore wind deployment centre are urgently required to meet the UK’s renewable energy targets.

“They could see gross value added to the UK economy of £7 billion and a cumulative cost-reduction impact of £45 billion for the whole offshore wind sector in UK waters by 2050,” said Jason Ormiston, the firm’s head of public and regulatory affairs.

He was backed by Welsh developer West Coast Energy which said research and development is vital to convince sceptical investors such as Citigroup’s Peter Atherton that the technology works. Mr Atherton said last week that Scotland’s renewables targets are “borderline fantasy”.

Steve Salt, West Coast Energy planning and development director, said: “Industry and companies like ours need access to world-class test facilities to test technologies to demonstrate that they work and drive down the cost. In so doing, you give investors like Citigroup and others confidence that these technologies will actually work.”

Both Mr Ormiston and Mr Salt praised the leadership of successive Holyrood administrations but said renewables are under threat by local planners and “rogue” conservation officers that give undue weight to “minority” views.

Mr Salt said: “The leadership of this Government is the reason why we invest in Scotland. We are a Welsh-based company and you would have thought that we would make all our investment decisions and invest most of our money in Wales, but that’s not the case.”

Mr Ormiston praised the previous Labour-Liberal Democrat administration for renewable energy training they used to give to councillors and planning officials.

“I stand to be corrected but I don’t think those exercises have been repeated. It’s possible that there’s an opportunity for officials to perhaps go out and talk again about policy, technology; the effects and the benefits.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2012, All Rights Reserved.

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