Rob Gibson SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands has called for an all-Scottish push to train planners and public agency staff in the skills needed to speed up the processing of renewable energy projects.
Speaking after Wednesday's Energy, Economy and Tourism Committee meeting in the Scottish Parliament which focused on the planning process, he said,
" The Committee heard evidence from developers who justifiably complain that the growth of renewable energy production hits too many bottlenecks in the planning system for clean green power to meet our national targets."
"There are too few Skilled planners, Council budgets don't boost training in planning skills, agencies like SEPA and SNH do not respond as quickly as they should and councillors also lack training to deal with complex renewable energy proposals."
"The investment climate we need to make Scotland the green energy capital of Europe relies of every council in the land and all public agencies pulling together. Therefore I was amazed that on the day the Parliamentary Committee heard this evidence that Highland council planning committee was cutting its staff. All councils need to boost planning budgets so that the clean energy revolution can have every chance to lead our country out of recession."