Wind industry takes gloves off in PR fight

UNITED KINGDOM: Wind's public relations war is intensifying, with the industry publishing a swathe of positive research last month as a new anti-wind group was launched.

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In April, RenewableUK published a survey by market research firm Ipsos Mori in which 67% of respondents were in favour of wind power in the UK, while only 8% were opposed. Nearly 60% find the impact of wind farms on the landscape acceptable, with just 20% finding it totally unacceptable.

"The public in general need to know our side of the story," said a RenewableUK spokesman.

A poll by researchers YouGov for Scottish Renewables showed 71% support for wind.

In tourism body VisitScotland's own survey, 80% of UK respondents stated their decision to holiday in the UK would not be affected by the presence of a wind farm.

The surveys were released ahead of US tycoon Donald Trump's high-profile appearance at a Scottish Parliament inquiry into the country's renewable-energy targets.

Trump has claimed Scotland is committing "financial suicide" in its support of the technology, which would end tourism.

Meanwhile, the National Opposition to Windfarms (NOW) group has been launched. It is unclear who is behind the group and it did not respond to requests for information when contacted by Windpower Monthly. One of its complaints is that wind energy does not create as many jobs as it claims to.

But the Renewable Energy Association (REA) published research showing onshore wind already supports 15,200 jobs in the UK and offshore wind provides 16,200 jobs.

However, UK job prospects were hit in April as Korean manufacturer Doosan Power Systems scrapped plans to invest £170 million in Scotland, citing concerns over the economy. The research and development centre had been expected to create 200 jobs.

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