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by Louise Wilson
15 November 2022
Minister admits wind energy figure not accurate

Lorna Slater said ministers using the statistic believed it was “accurate at the time”

Minister admits wind energy figure not accurate

A Scottish minister has admitted a figure used by the Scottish Government about Scotland’s wind energy potential was not accurate.

Lorna Slater, the junior climate change minister, said ministers using the statistic believed it was “accurate at the time”.

She added the government had only been made aware the figure was false earlier this month.

It came to light after campaign group These Islands published information refuting the statement that Scotland has a quarter of Europe’s potential offshore wind resource.

The group said while Scotland did have “substantial” resources, the government was “hugely exaggerating” its potential and a “realistic figure” would be between four and six per cent.

Tory MSP Liam Kerr raised the use of the figure by several ministers in the chamber on Tuesday afternoon.

He said the “bogus statistic” had been “repeated ad nauseum”.

Slater initially said the figure, which first appeared in a 2010 document, was “now out of date” but she insisted it “doesn’t change” the fact Scotland’s wind potential is “still significant”.

Kerr continued to press the minister about the figure’s use, highlighting the ministerial code states that misleading parliament is a resignation matter.

Slater replied: “Scottish Ministers understood that the statistic was accurate at the time they cited it.

“Now that it has come to our attention that it is not, we are working to update statistics on how our offshore wind potential compares to other countries.

“We will update parliament once this is done, and at that point we will consider how any legacy documents may need to be updated.”

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