Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Written Evidence


Appendix 1

EVIDENCE REQUESTED BY THE COMMITTEE

Q237  Mr Cawsey:

Can you think from your experiences of any examples where the deployment of renewable electricity-generation technologies have had a positive social and environmental impact on the local area?

Mr McCullough: Virtually every scheme we do.

Q238  Mr Cawsey:

In which way?

Mr McCullough: What we always do from a public perspective is educate them about what the benefits of a wind farm would bring to the national picture. We do that in our very early stages in the various public meetings that we hold. In all cases—and you will find that this is common practice throughout the whole sector—we have an element of the money to be raised from that commercial scheme returned to the community via various bodies, so everything from assisting in schools and colleges locally in education programmes, through to refurbishment of village halls, or the sponsoring of a lifeboat with new Land Rovers and the like. All of that is wrapped into the overall community package and that is part of the business, but perhaps the most commercially important issue is that it does create real jobs, and it creates jobs now. Very often in very rural areas the difference of 10 or 20 jobs makes a huge difference to the local economy, for people in regular employment, in some of the remoter parts of Scotland and Wales in particular. In the Highlands and Islands in Scotland for instance bringing in a 90 megawatt wind farm project will generate of the order of 20 to 30 jobs. It does not sound a lot in one regard but it is a huge benefit. In all our cases where we survey before and after, the acceptance and understanding of what it brings to the community is always elevated. We can demonstrate some evidence if the panel is interested in seeing that from our projects.

Q239  Chairman: I think we would very much appreciate having a written submission there just to indicate that and particularly again in terms of tidal where you are doing major pieces of engineering in fairly remote areas with different technologies, if there is anything you could let the Committee have to see where there has been real environmental and social benefit, that would be useful for us to include in our Report.



 
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