The tour, It’s Only Natural, began in Inverness this week and aims to combat ‘the public’s misunderstandings of renewables’, which many will interpret as the Scottish Executive diplomatically saying ‘nimby opposition to windfarms’.

“The Scottish Executive is committed to combating the effects of climate change and to making sure we get clear benefits for the economy in the process,” said Deputy Enterprise Minister Allan Wilson.

“Renewable energy has a crucial role to play in achieving this aim and that is why we have set the target that 18 per cent of Scotland’s electricity should come from renewable energy by 2010 and 40 per cent by 2020.

“We are committed to achieving our targets through a range of renewable technologies – on and off shore wind, biomass, wave and tidal and micro renewables.

“However, it’s also vital to ensure that the public are fully aware of all the issues that surround these policies – the benefits that more renewable energy will bring, and how a potential project can impact on your area.

“The 2003 study Public Attitudes to Windfarms has shown that the public are broadly in favour of renewable energy. We absolutely welcome a debate, but it must be an informed debate.

“The roadshow has info packs, booklets and interactive quizzes for the public to view and enjoy and local people will be on hand to answer questions.

“We need to make the most of Scotland’s potential to lead the world in renewable energy and we are determined to create an environmentally sustainable country for future generations.

“With the public’s help, I am certain we can deliver.”

The tour will be spending a day or two in most of Scotland’s major towns as it travels the length and breadth of the country over the next 16 weeks.

By Sam Bond

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