Union calls for more direction on renewables

NFU Scotland has urged the Scottish Government to tackle the growing list of challenges being experienced by farmers investing in renewable energy.

In a letter to John Swinney, cabinet secretary for finance, employment and sustainable growth, the Union calls on the Scottish Government to commission an independent expert group to set out clear standards and priorities to guide and support investment.

It wants the group to clearly map out the role of all energy generating technologies and to address ongoing issues around planning system constraints and inconsistencies.

“Feedback from members interested in [renewable] technology has shown that a major stumbling block to progress in this area is that the present regional planning approach can be unclear, and is nearing overload,” NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller said.

“We have a growing list of incidents where members believe planning authorities have failed to provide proportionate pathways for micro and major developments, and have been inconsistent in the standards demanded from applications. In addition, grid capacity is becoming a significant limiting factor in future developments.

“That is causing frustration and the Union believes that an independent expert group would be best placed to tackle such issues and ensure that the protocols and standards needed to guide future investment and planning decisions around renewables are set and agreed at a national level.”

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