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Scotland: Report out to turn tide on energy focus

THE SCOTTISH Executive was today urged to switch its alternative energy focus from wind farms to wave power.

The Scottish Parliament’s enterprise committee claimed marine technologies had the potential to create thousands of jobs.

It said the Executive was on course to meet its target of generating 18 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2010.

And it called on the Executive and Westminster to develop a fully-fledged Scottish energy policy to meet future energy needs.

In its Renewable Energy report today, the committee concluded the benefits of renewable energy were so great the Executive should invest significantly in the sector.

But the report said the drive for renewable energy had so far concentrated almost exclusively on promoting onshore wind power. And that was unintentionally working against the development of other energy sources.

Committee convener Alasdair Morgan MSP said: "The focus on wind power is depriving other technologies such as tidal and wave power of much-needed investment."

The committee also called for a national strategic framework for wind farm applications.

It said there was a proliferation of large onshore, wind farm proposals concentrated in sensitive geographical areas and the planning system was struggling to cope.

Further wind farms would be necessary, it warned, but there were major weaknesses in the current planning system and a lack of guidance from the Executive.

Editorial Notes: How about investing in both wind and wave technologies?

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