The Scottish Conservative Party have released an energy policy review paper titled â€˜Power with Responsibilityâ€™ that could provide significant benefits to Fife if its policy recommendations are implemented.
The Scottish Conservatives base their recommendations on three key principles: security of supply, affordability and decarbonisation, with a heavy focus on shifting responsibility for control over energy policy away from central government and back to local communities.
South Fife Conservative Deputy Chairman Bruce Holborn said: â€˜Among the proposed policies is a recommendation to allow councils to impose moratoriums on large wind farm developments; an action that was tried by Fife Council last year but rejected by the Scottish Government. Also included are recommendations to allow councils to conduct thorough zoning exercises to clearly identify areas where wind farms could never be placed due to their adverse affects on local communities; and a proposal to cut the current Â£350 million a year subsidy to onshore wind farms.
This review paper reiterates current Scottish planning guidance which states that wind farms should not be placed within 2km of residential areas. A policy which, if implemented in Fife, could halt the construction of contentious proposed wind farms near towns and villages.â€™
SPOT Fife is a voluntary group of concerned Fife residents who campaign against inappropriate wind turbine developments in the Area. The South Fife Conservatives asked SPOT Fife Vice-Chairman, Graeme Whyte, what he thought of the Energy Policy Review and he said: â€˜Fifers have been let down by so many of their politicians on this issue. We therefore welcome the Scottish Conservativesâ€™ pragmatic and robust approach to this issue. Labour in Fife have tried to help but appear to be about to jump on the subsidy gravy-train themselves by erecting Council turbines. This will fleece already hard-pressed bill-payers for what is euphemistically called â€˜Community Benefitâ€™.â€™
â€˜We are all becoming well versed on the details of wind energy. The public are increasingly aware of the great cost of these schemes being met by ever increasing fuel bills from ever decreasing household budgets.â€™
â€˜UK and Scottish Government Policies promote the legal scam that allows landowners and big business to trouser Â£Billions of our money. This would be just about excusable if the wind factories made a serious contribution to reducing CO2 emissions globally. However, as the Scottish Conservativesâ€™ Energy Policy Review recognizes, this is simply not the case.â€™
â€˜If you are serious about tackling climate change, then wind factories are not the way forward.â€™
Graeme continued, â€˜The Lib Dems and the SNP, in particular, live in cloud-cuckoo land and have ignored the serious concerns affecting many Fifers on this important topic. The SNPâ€™s legacy is going to be the industrialisation and destruction of Scotlandâ€™s natural heritage for at least a generation. This is a future our tourism industry can ill afford. The SNP claim that 80% of visitors will be unaffected by wind factories; I donâ€™t know of any tourism businesses who can afford to lose 1 in 5 of their visitors at any time, let alone during these straightened economic times.â€™
The review paper can be view in full through this link: