'Climate change is happening and it is happening now. It will affect all of us, and we must all play our part to minimise the impact. We need to look at the way we live and assess what changes we can make for the better.
'Renewable energy has an important part to play in addressing the problems of climate change. I want Scotland to play its full part in meeting the UK's target of securing 10 per cent of electricity consumption from renewables by 2010. We must now look at land-use planning guidance on renewable energy to help this become reality.
'An important purpose in reviewing planning guidance on renewable energy is to help planning authorities find the balance between the needs of renewable energy developments, conservation and the local impact of particular schemes.
'The process of consultation will allow us to consider the complex issues surrounding planning. I very much hope that consultees will give us their view on the draft guidance.'
1. The existing National Planning Policy Guideline (NPPG) 6: Renewable Energy was published in 1994. A commitment to revise it was announced in the Programme for Government in September 1999.
2. The draft NPPG is being issued to a wide consultation list and comments are invited by 28 July. The Scottish executive will take account of comments received and will issue a final version of the revised NPPG in the summer.
3. Renewable energy is the term used to cover those energy flows that occur naturally and repeatedly in the environment - from the sun, the wind and oceans and the fall of water. Plant material, often referred to as biomass (either as energy crops or forestry wastes), is an important source of renewable energy. Combustible or digestible industrial, agricultural and domestic waste materials are also regarded as renewable sources of energy.
4. Renewable energy technologies covered by the draft NPPG are: wind power; hydro schemes; biomass; energy from waste; and wave power.