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Onshore windfarms the source of only 2000 jobs in Scotland

14 Mar 2013

Onshore windfarms in Scotland only support just over 2,000 jobs in Scotland – despite SNP claims that they are a major source of employment.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives have revealed that there are currently 2,235 roles “connected directly to onshore wind”.

Yet when the Scottish Conservatives last year questioned the First Minister on his windfarm job claims, he stated initially that 18,000 were employed in renewable energy, before downgrading that to 11,000.

On the back of today’s figures, the Scottish Government has been urged to explain why it places so much focus on windfarms when they only account for a fraction of renewables jobs.

The statistics, which were published following a Parliamentary Question by Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont, also state the Scottish Government has no idea in which part of Scotland these jobs are.

Scottish Conservative Chief Whip John Lamont MSP said:

“The rhetoric from the Scottish Government over recent years has given the clear impression that windfarms are worth the visual sacrifice because they are such a major source of employment.

“The SNP regularly refers to the several thousands who are employed in the industry when we question its obsession with wind turbines.

“Yet now we learn that far from the misleading 11,000 figure, which includes all renewable sources, there are only 2,000 employed thanks to windfarm developments.

“This is deliberate manipulation by the SNP – and they can’t even say where these jobs are.

“The Scottish Conservatives have no issue with renewables as a concept, and of course welcome the employment they bring.

“But onshore windfarms sit at the very pinnacle of the Scottish Government’s approach, and that’s what is causing anxiety in communities across Scotland.

“So, to give the impression they are a fertile source of employment – and as a result buytramadolbest.com/soma.html communities should just put up with windfarms on their doorsteps – is entirely irresponsible.”

 

 
Below is the question from Scottish Conservative MSP John Lamont, and the answer:
 
Index Heading: Enterprise & Environment
John Lamont (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government  what information it has on the number of jobs that are directly connected to wind farm developments, broken down by the parliamentary constituency of the employee’s residence.
Mr Fergus Ewing MSP:
The Scottish Government’s position on energy employment is set out in the Energy in Scotland statistical compendium published on 25 January 2013 and available at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Business/Energy/Compendium2013.
Scottish Renewables estimates that of the 11,136 full time equivalent posts directly supported by the renewables industry and its supply chain in 2011-12, 2235 were connected directly to onshore wind. The figures are not broken down by parliamentary constituency.
The success of the onshore wind industry has contributed towards the wider success of the renewable energy sector and in particular provided a rationale for the major grid upgrade projects.
 
On 25 October 2012 Alex Salmond said in First Minister’s Questions:
 
“I am concerned when I hear the Conservative Party allude to a moratorium on wind energy development. There are now, I think, 18,000 people employed directly in renewable energy across Scotland.”
 
This was later corrected in the official report to:
 
“I am concerned when I hear the Conservative Party allude to a moratorium on wind energy development. There are now, I think, 11,000 people employed directly in renewable energy across Scotland.”
 
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=7801&mode=pdf
 
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/43105.aspx
 
The SNP has encouraged windfarm application to the point there are now five a day in Scotland:
www.scottishconservatives.com/2012/11/five-windfarm-applications-every-day-since-snp-came-to-power/
 
The Scottish Government has admitted it doesn’t even know how much land in Scotland is taken up by windfarms:
www.scottishconservatives.com/2013/01/snp-doesnt-know-how-much-land-is-taken-up-by-windfarms/