1.1. The Scottish Government consultation on a draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement was one of a number of consultations published alongside the draft Energy Strategy.
1.2. The draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement reaffirmed the Scottish Government's existing onshore wind policy and the consultation asked for views on a number of issues relating to supporting the sector. It ran from 24 January until 30 May 2017.
1.3. There were 89 responses to the consultation: 77 from organisations and 12 from individuals. Respondents were assigned to respondent groupings in order to enable analysis of any differences or commonalities across or within the various different types of organisations and individuals that responded.
1.4. A list of all those organisations that submitted a response to the consultation and agreed to have their response published is included in Appendix 1. The following table shows the numbers of responses in each analysis group.
|Environmental and energy advisory (non-governmental)||6|
|Public Sector / Delivery Agency / Regulator||7|
|Land / Landscape||2|
|Lobby and interest groups||4|
|Local authorities and planners||16|
|Onshore wind industry||35|
1.5. The onshore wind category includes wind farm developers and generators, manufacturers and engineers. The environmental and energy advisory grouping comprises solely non-governmental organisations and is simply referred to as the 'environmental and energy advisory' category throughout the body of this report. The organisation categories with the highest numbers of respondents were 'onshore wind industry' and 'local authorities and planners'.
1.6. Responses to the consultation were submitted using the Scottish Government consultation platform Citizen Space or by email or hard copy.
1.7. It should be borne in mind that the number responding at each question is not always the same as the number presented in the respondent group table. This is because not all respondents addressed all questions; some commented only on those questions or sections of relevance to their organisation, sector or field of interest. The report indicates the number of respondents who commented at each question.
1.8. Some respondents did not use the consultation questionnaire and, instead, presented their views in a report or letter format. Wherever possible, researchers assigned relevant sections of these documents to the relevant questions in order that all comments on similar issues could be analysed together.
1.9. Some of the consultation questions contained closed, tick-boxes with options for 'Yes or No' or 'Agree or Disagree'. Where respondents did not follow the questions but mentioned clearly within their text that they agreed or disagreed with a point, these have been included in the relevant counts.
1.10. The researchers examined all comments made by respondents at each open question and noted the range of issues mentioned in responses including reasons for opinions, specific examples or explanations, alternative suggestions or other related comments. Grouping these issues together into similar themes allowed the researchers to identify whether any particular theme was specific to any particular respondent group or groups. When looking at group differences however, it must be also borne in mind that where a specific opinion has been identified in relation to a particular group or groups, this does not indicate that other groups did not share this opinion, but rather that they simply did not comment on that particular point.
1.11. While the consultation gave all who wished to comment an opportunity to do so, given the self-selecting nature of this type of exercise, any figures quoted here cannot be extrapolated to a wider population outwith the respondent sample.
1.12. A small number of verbatim comments, from those who gave permission for their responses to be made public, have been used in the report to illustrate themes or to provide extra detail for some specific points.