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Barely 2,000 Onshore Wind Farm Jobs In Scotland

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Simon Johnson, The Daily Telegraph

Onshore wind farms support barely 2,000 jobs in Scotland despite Alex Salmond’s claim they are a major source of employment, ministers have admitted.

Fergus Ewing, the SNP Energy Minister, published figures showing there are 2,235 posts “connected directly to onshore wind”, less than a fifth of the total for all forms of green power.

Mr Salmond last year told MSPs that 18,000 Scots were employed in renewable energy before downgrading that total to 11,000 by requesting the Scottish Parliament written record of proceedings be secretly changed.

The Conservatives last night said the new figure raises further questions about the SNP’s drive for a speedy expansion of wind farms across rural Scotland.

The First Minister has claimed his target of generating the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020 would lead to the country’s re-industrialisation and thousands of jobs.

However, most of the target is expected to be met using thousands of onshore wind turbines as this is by far the most mature of the renewable technologies.

John Lamont, Scottish Tory Chief Whip, said: “The rhetoric from the Scottish Government over recent years has given the clear impression that wind farms are worth the visual sacrifice because they are such a major source of employment.

“Yet now we learn that far from the misleading 11,000 figure, which includes all renewable sources, there are only 2,000 employed thanks to wind farm developments. This is deliberate manipulation by the SNP – and they can’t even say where these jobs are.”

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