Scottish councils could lose out on £44 million of scarce income under UK government plans to scrap subsidies for wind farms.
Dozens of jobs could also be at risk under the UK government’s plans to ditch £800 million of support a year early for onshore turbines.
The announcement last month was welcomed by anti-wind farm groups who say they have scarred Scotland’s countryside in recent years as “subsidy chasers” flock to erect turbines on hills and moorland.
Joss Blamire, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: “Given the pressures on local authority budgets, many have looked elsewhere for income. Renewables not only allow Scotland’s cities and towns do their bit to cut the carbon emissions which are causing climate change, but also support almost 12,000 Scottish jobs. With the premature end of one renewables support scheme already announced last month (18 June) and two others – Contracts for Difference and the Feed-in Tariff – the subject of significant uncertainty, councils have been left in limbo.
“That means more than £650,000 of public money which has already been spent, not to mention projected incomes in the tens of millions of pounds, could now be lost if the UK government doesn’t urgently reconsider its position.”
The survey found 25 wind turbines were planned by the five Scottish councils who responded.
Those plans, which could have brought in around £11 million over the 20-year life of the turbines, are now on hold.
Glasgow City Council leader Councillor Gordon Matheson, who is also chair of the Sustainable Glasgow partnership, said: “Glasgow aims to lead the way in using new green technology in our city to improve the environment, create jobs and reduce our carbon footprint.
“Our wind turbine at Cathkin Braes, which is a joint venture between SSE and the council, pays a dividend to a local community trust to support local projects. I have also pledged that revenues from renewable projects will be directed to supporting Glasgow’s affordable warmth strategy, with a particular focus on our most vulnerable residents.