Scotland launches wind energy task force

Aug. 22, 2012 at 6:40 AM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Scottish government launched an onshore wind task force aimed at providing transparency to project planning, a minister announced.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the government launched a guidance plan for applications for wind energy projects. The measure is meant to make the planning process easier for communities affected by wind development and for authorities.

The wind task force would examine ways to improve the consent process while keeping local communities involved.

Ewing said in June in London that the wind energy sector could reindustrialize Scotland, which plans a referendum for independence in 2014.

Scotland aims to derive 100 percent of its electricity demand through renewable energy projects by 2020. The government estimates it met 35 percent of its electricity demand last year through renewable resources.

"We are determined that this should be done in a sustainable way, sympathetic to the needs of communities and protecting the environment and our fantastic natural heritage," Ewing said in a statement.

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