A report by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies says Scotland should re-think plans for massive wind farms, and instead look to nuclear energy to provide the baseload electricity the nation will need while also protecting environmental quality:
The report, by one of the UK’s leading think tanks on energy policy, is a serious setback for the Scottish Executive. Ministers hope to convince voters that around 70 new wind farms will make a significant contribution to slashing carbon dioxide levels by at least 20% over the next 15 years.
But the institute’s report argues that previous experience shows governments fail to meet their targets for building wind farms, and even when they do deliver their promises, they have little impact on greenhouse gas levels.
Other technologies, such as nuclear energy, which produces no carbon dioxide, now deserve to be given closer consideration by ministers, even if they are unpopular with voters, the report says.
New nuclear power stations in countries such as France have played a major role in reducing carbon dioxide levels over the past two decades, it adds. But reliance on renewables and energy efficiency measures "is not a proven or reliable way of making big carbon dioxide reductions".