Scotland is sacrificing an estimated £1 billion in potential annual income from renewable energy by allowing multi-national energy companies to cream off the profits from wind energy, Aberdeenshire farmer and entrepreneurial businessman, Maitland Mackie, has claimed.
In an open letter to Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Energy and Tourism, Dr Mackie urges the Scottish Government to do more to keep the profits in Scotland by easing the planning regulations which, he says, act as a disincentive to farmers and landowners to invest in wind energy themselves.
He argues that by renting out sites for turbines to developers for “peanuts” rather than investing in wind energy themselves, farmers, landowners and local communities are missing out on huge potential profits.
“The policy being adopted by the government is starting to deliver billions of pounds of Scotland’s potential renewable energy revenues to foreign investors, miserably missing the revolutionary opportunity to democratise and decentralise the ownership and delivery of our renewable energy potential,” says Dr Mackie, who is a well-known enthusiast for wind energy and has three wind turbines on the family farm at Westertown, Rothienorman.
The turbines provide energy for the farm and Mackies ice cream factory with surplus electricity being sold into the national grid. Dr Mackie claims it is the best investment his family has ever made. He says there is a “revolution in the making” with all of the world’s energy likely to come from renewables in the future and ways being developed to store surplus energy to fill the gabs of sun and wind delivery.
“There is no reason, other than blind conventional political wisdom, that the means of producing this energy cannot be owned by millions of people around the world and not just international companies,” he insists.
“Government polices need to aid this revolution and not hinder it.
“This simply means supporting and encouraging the many to take full ownership of their local renewable energy potential and its immediate downstream activity.”