Scottish wind farms ‘have no effect on tourism jobs’

There is no relationship between the development of onshore wind farms and tourism employment in Scotland. That’s according to a report by consultancy BiGGAR Economics which analysed the level of […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

There is no relationship between the development of onshore wind farms and tourism employment in Scotland.

That’s according to a report by consultancy BiGGAR Economics which analysed the level of wind farm installations and the level of employment in tourism in Scotland between 2009 and 2014.

It found the onshore wind sector has grown “significantly”, from an installed capacity of 2GW to 4.9GW during the same period while tourism employment rose by 10.8%.

It also said sustainable tourism employment performed better in areas surrounding wind farms than in the wider local authority area.

The report added: “There was no pattern emerging that would suggest that onshore wind farm development has had a detrimental impact on the tourism sector, even at the very local level.”

Commenting on the report, WWF Scotland Director Lang Banks said: “Hopefully this latest research will finally put to bed the myth that wind farms have a negative impact on tourism jobs. In fact the reality is that in some cases wind farms have themselves become tourist attractions.

“Over the past decade, Scotland’s growth in renewables has created thousands of new jobs. And to ensure we continue to reap the many benefits of a low carbon economy the Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy should set a goal of securing half of all of our energy, across electricity, heat and transport, from renewables by 2030.”