A new report by consultancy BiGGAR Economics, which analysed the impact of Scottish windfarms on tourism-related employment in an area, this week concluded there was no evidence to suggest windfarms had an adverse effect on tourism in an area.
The potential impact on tourism is a common consideration during the planning process and as such the study set out to see if the impact could be quantified.
It analysed the level of windfarm installations and the level of employment in tourism in Scotland between 2009 and 2013 at both a national and a local level.
The study found that at the national level the number of wind turbines in Scotland increased by 121% over the period, while tourism-related employment rose by 10.8%.
However, the report found the distribution of both windfarms and tourism jobs varied significantly across the country so it also looked at the impact on tourism employment in areas with a higher proportion of wind turbines.
It concluded there was no clear relationship between the growth in the onshore wind sector and growth in the tourism sector.
The report also looked at tourism employment in the immediate locality of 18 windfarms across Scotland that have been built since 2009. This found that the there was a significant variation between sites and there was no overall relationship between the development of wind energy and tourism employment in an area,” the company said. “In fact, in the majority of cases the level of tourism employment increased more in the immediate area surrounding a windfarm than in the wider local authority area.
The results of the report echo similar studies largely debunking the alleged impact of windfarms on health and house prices.
Guardian News Article : Scottish windfarms have ‘no effect’ on tourism, report finds (August 3, 2016)
Biggar Economics, Wind Farms and Tourism Trends in Scotland : A Research Report (July2016)