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16 July 2018

Poll Shows Tories Out of Touch on Energy

Two-Thirds Oppose Tory Government Onshore Wind Policy

The SNP's Stewart Stevenson has warned that the Tories are "dangerously out of step with public opinion" on energy policy, following new YouGov poll findings that two-thirds of people in the UK believe that the Tory Government's opposition to onshore wind is wrong.

The poll, commissioned by industry body RenewableUK, showed strong support for renewables generally, with a clear majority favouring onshore wind over nuclear power and fracking, and 69% of respondents also backing the development of more onshore wind farms.

With no public consultation and no parliamentary scrutiny or debate, the Tory government locked out almost all new onshore wind projects from the UK’s contract-for-difference (CfD) support mechanism, while projects in England are also subject to planning rules designed to hamper development.

The Scottish Conservative's 2017 party manifesto stated: “we do not believe that more large-scale onshore wind power is right for Scotland."

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson, who sits on Holyrood’s Environment Committee, said:

“The Tories’ backwards decision to cut subsidies for the renewables sector is not only dangerously out of step with public opinion, including a majority of Tory voters, it has also hampered growth in a vital industry of the future that experts say will be more cost-effective than nuclear power.

“Despite the Tories' damaging opposition to onshore wind, the SNP continues to support Scotland’s renewables potential, both in generation and infrastructure, with renewable electricity capacity in Scotland making up approximately 25% of the UK's renewable generation in 2017.

"The SNP recognises that renewable energy plays a hugely significant role in powering Scotland's future, and it is clear that for Scotland to maintain a strong renewables sector, environment and energy policy must be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.”
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