As the UK’s biggest renewable energy event takes place in Scotland this week, there are some voices north of the border questioning the country’s game plan when it comes to wind power.
Under the headline ‘Has Scotland Blown It?’, the Scottish daily newspaper The Herald this week ran a comment piece which stated: “Overall, the state of the Scottish wind industry is a bit of mishmash.”
The article predicted that Scotland would “develop an inspection, repair and maintenance capability, but we need to accept we’ve missed out on manufacturing the high-value-added first and second-generation technologies”.
The Herald rued technology investment decisions of previous years and stated: “Evidence that we’re just not very good at that should shame us into doing better from here on in.”
The article pointed to Denmark as an example of how renewable energy should be done.
“Little old Denmark, one of the world leaders in turbine development, has been at it for nearly three decades, having picked up the mantle from the UK in the 1980s. That was when, in a textbook display of short-sightedness, the UK government pulled the plug on wind-energy R&D funding. The Danes now have an industry employing more than 20,000 people, exporting nearly €5 bn-worth of equipment.”
However, the paper stressed that “there is still much to play for, and hoped that one of the three major turbine-makers (Siemens, GE and Gamesa) which have so far committed themselves to investing in the UK would come to Scotland.