The need for emergency response plans for workers who work at heights is at an all-time high in Scotland, as the country continues to invest into more and more wind turbines. In fact, according to new research by the Sunday Express, Scotland will soon become the most overcrowded country in the world for wind turbines.
The newspaper revealed that with 2,683 wind turbines currently in operation, 282 under construction and planning permission approved for another 2,202, once all are in effect, Scotland will produce the most wind energy per square metre than any other country in the world.
At present, this accolade is held by Denmark, at 113MV per square metre, but with a halt on all further offshore farms in the country, Scotland’s future target of 163MV per square meter should see it top the charts.
Scotland has, by no means, the biggest number of wind turbines in the world, but with all those with planning consent brought to fruition, it would put Scotland at number six in the world for wind power generation without the input of the rest of the UK.
China has by far the most turbines and the largest amount of energy produced in the world, followed by the US, Germany, Spain and India before the UK.
However, some have criticised the Scottish government for a lack of clarity around wind turbine numbers. While renewable energy is a key issue for the Scottish government, critics are worried about the impact of overcrowding on the environment and aesthetic of the Scottish countryside.
Linda Holt, a spokeswoman for Scotland Against Spin, spoke of a conspiracy of silence with government turbine plans sitting 18 months out of date: “No wonder the Scottish government has sat on Scottish Natural Heritage so it hasn't published any maps showing how much of the country is dominated by turbines,” she commented.
The accusation lobbied against the government is that ministers are obsessed with wind energy, but are pursuing it without fear of consequence of the damage to human and animal health.
In response, the Scottish government said it was searching for the best way to keep information up to date. A government official said: “Wind farms are a key part of this energy mix and our policy on wind farm applications aims to strike the right balance between Scotland’s massive green energy potential and the need to protect the country’s most scenic and wild areas along with residential amenity.”
Wind energy is part of Scotland’s wider energy production plan, however, onshore wind energy makes up a huge percentage of renewable energy production at present, according to Scottish Renewables.
On August 7th 2016, during a stormy summer, Scotland produced more energy through wind turbine generation than the country used in that day for the very first time. On that day, 106 per cent of the demand was generated - a feat, which according to a WWF Scotland spokesman, was down to continued support from the Scottish government, a report in the Independent noted.