Onshore Wind

Scottish Renewables’ response to Daily Telegraph article

25 February 2013

In response to the Daily Telegraph article published on 23 February referring to a study undertaken by researchers at Aberdeen University on wind farms built on peat land, Scottish Renewables has released the following statement.

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, said:

“The Daily Telegraph article on the relationship between wind turbines and carbon emissions is based on an article in Nature, subsequently corrected by the authors of the Aberdeen University study, who said the article had “resulted in misunderstanding of the intended message”.

“The Aberdeen University researchers make it clear that there can be carbon emissions savings from wind farms built on peat lands and that it is only when we have a largely decarbonised electricity system that windfarms on non-degraded peat are unlikely to give net carbon benefit.

“We already know that windfarms currently reduce carbon emissions, as figures recently released by National Grid showed between April 2011-September 2012 the electricity generated by wind farms in Britain resulted in an estimated 10.9 million tonnes less CO2 being emitted.

“Results from the Scottish Government’s carbon calculator, a tool developed by the researchers at Aberdeen University, show that recent wind farm developments will pay back all carbon emissions associated with their development and construction in a few years, or even in some cases a number of months.”

The Aberdeen University researcher made clear their position in their response to the article in Nature:

“With good management, our calculations show that carbon savings are possible for windfarms constructed on many peat sites; it is developments on non-degraded peats that should be avoided. After 2025, assuming low-carbon electricity generation, windfarms on non-degraded peats are unlikely to give net carbon benefit and technological advances would be needed to achieve savings.”


Notes to Editors