Bold plans to expand onshore wind will be vital to ensuring a sustainable future

The Scottish Greens have hailed bold and ambitious new Scottish Government proposals to radically expand onshore wind energy in Scotland. This follows the publication of the Scottish Government’s Onshore wind policy statement.

The ambition to install an additional 8-12 GW of onshore wind was a key commitment of the Bute House Agreement which was negotiated between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government. It follows changes to planning rules to facilitate the growth of onshore wind that were dubbed "a remarkable step forward” by the industry.

Commenting on the publication, the Scottish Greens environment spokesperson, Mark Ruskell MSP said:

“We are in a climate crisis and we need to transform our energy supply. Onshore wind is the cheapest green energy source out there and it has a big role to play in cutting emissions and our energy bills at the same time.

“Scotland has an abundance of resources, and this new policy will put them to use, while ensuring that local communities and the whole country benefit  from the investment and green jobs that it will create.  With Scottish Greens in government, I am delighted that we are showing leadership and delivering the change that is so badly needed.  

“This bold and ambitious vision stands in stark contrast to the climate wrecking policies that are being pursued by a Westminster government that is doubling down on oil and gas and has even commissioned the first new coal mine in 30 years.

“The steps outlined today are crucial, but they are only part of our plan to tackle the climate emergency.

"As a result of the Bute House Agreement that the Scottish Greens negotiated with the Scottish Government, we are rapidly expanding marine energy, investing £1.8 billion in insulating homes and buildings and £5 billion in decarbonising and improving Scotland’s railway and scrapping peak time rail fares. We have also introduced free bus travel for young people and secured record funding for safe walking, cycling and wheeling infrastructure.

“This is the transformative action we are working for every day and that will ensure Scotland leads the change in the UK and beyond.

“Yet, as long as we remain tied to an anti-climate Tory government we will always have one hand tied behind our back. With the powers of an independent nation we can halt new oil and gas drilling in our waters, reform our broken energy system and do even more to build a greener and better future.”