Salmond determined to ensure Scotland reaps offshore wind benefits
First Minister Alex Salmond has told US businessman Donald Trump that he is committed to ensuring Scotland sees the full benefits of offshore wind opportunities.
The First Minister’s comments have arisen from the businessman’s public criticism of the Scottish National Party’s green energy drive. Mr Trump has objected to a planned offshore wind development site near to the entrepreneur’s golf resort. Recent criticism include “Scotland committing financial suicide by wanting to create a wind farm landscape which will kill off tourism”. He further enticed a South Korean firm to withdraw their plans for a wind farm research facility at Renfrew.
Trump urged the Minister:
"Please learn something from all of this - don't destroy your coastlines and your countryside with the monstrous turbines. Your country will become a third world wasteland that global investors will avoid. I am determined that communities across Scotland will benefit directly from offshore wind".
Salmond reassured Mr Trump that the offshore wind industry has an anticipated worth of £30billion to Scotland.
The First Minister responded:
"I don't expect you to support the development of offshore wind in Scotland, but I hope this letter will allow you to understand the position of the Scottish government in terms of the importance we place on this industry's great potential."
"It is my belief that Scotland's great cities and ports are ideally placed to become a key hub for the rapidly growing multi-billion pound offshore renewables industry. Our waters are estimated to have as much as a quarter of Europe's potential offshore wind energy, and we are perfectly positioned to develop the technology that will power this renewables revolution."
"I am determined that communities across Scotland will benefit directly from offshore wind, which is forecast to generate about £30bn of investment and lead to the creation of up to 28,000 Scottish jobs."
Salmond rebutted Trump’s comments by explaining that the £150 million 11-turbine offshore development close to the gold resort was a testing facility rather than a conventional wind farm. He confirmed that visitor numbers to Scotland including those from North America were on the rise.