People, Travel

Tourism Unaffected by Scottish Wind Farms

Tourism Unaffected by Scottish Wind Farms
Tourism Unaffected by Scottish Wind Farms

Wind farms in Scotland have had no impact on jobs in the country’s tourism industry, a study by Biggar Economics said.

The research assessed 18 wind farm sites across Scotland, looking at the number of people employed in tourism in the local area before and after projects had been built.

It found some of the local authority areas with the greatest growth in tourism employment also saw the greatest rise in onshore wind installations, but there was no overall relationship between the two factors.

According to the study, between 2009 and 2013, the level of employment in tourism in Scotland increased by 10.8% at the same time that onshore wind grew rapidly in the country, Renews reported.

In two-thirds of the regions studied, sustainable tourism employment performed better in areas surrounding wind farms than in the wider local authority area, the study said.

Biggar Economics director and report author, Graeme Blackett, said, “What this study shows is that there is no relationship between the growth in the onshore wind sector and growth in the tourism sector.

“While this is just one piece of research, it is the first that has looked systematically at the situation before and after wind farms have been developed, and it clearly demonstrates that renewable energy and tourism can coexist in a modern Scotland.”

Scottish Renewables senior policy manager, Lindsay Roberts, said this research joins the growing body of evidence that clearly shows there is no negative impact on the tourism industry from the development of onshore wind.

“Today’s new figures demonstrate once again that the well-documented economic and environmental benefits of green energy go hand in hand with significant social benefits,” she said.