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November 14, 2003 11:38 AM

Wind turbine (windmill).John Thurso MP, Liberal Democrat's Spokesman on Scottish Affairs yesterday tabled a motion condemning the announced Conservative policy for a moratorium on new wind energy in Scotland. The policy puts over 1,000 jobs at risk and would endanger Scotland's reputation for being at the leading edge of renewable energy. John Thurso said,

'Renewable energy and its associated technical industries offer and outstanding opportunity for Scottish businesses. Scotland is rapidly challenging other countries where annual turn over can be as much as £2 billion.

"This is more typical Tory hot air. The two key issues are to provide a good return for local communities from the renewable energy developments they host and to ensure there is a coherent strategy in each area for appropriate development. The Tories have simply missed the point.

"A moratorium is short sighted, opportunistic and has no basis in science or reality. The Tories have ruled themselves out of having anything serious to say in this debate. "

That this house notes the new Conservative policy in Scotland for a moratorium on the building of new windfarms; condemns this policy as having the potential to threaten over 1000 jobs in Scotland in the wind energy industry alone and many more in the developing wave and tidal energy industries; notes the potential benefit of local community owned wind farm developments; believes that local communities should have the opportunity to generate their own environmentally friendly electricity from renewable sources; notes how the Danish wind energy industry has an annual turnover of nearly £2 billion, employing 16,000 with 95% of the turnover coming from export sales, and suggests that the new Conservative policy is both bad for

the environment and bad for business.

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