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Peat document sets out wind farm benefits

Publication ‘shows how developers are caring for peatlands near their projects’

Industry is restoring peatlands damaged over many decades

A new document showing the benefits of wind farms to Scotland’s peatlands is launched today (Nov 26).

The easily-digested publication, titled Wind Power and Peatland: Enhancing Unique Habitats, looks at more than £2.5 million of work carried out by three renewable energy businesses at sites across the country.

The document, released as part of UK Wind Week, shows how wind farm developers are restoring peatland which has been damaged by forestry, over-grazing and drainage.

Peat plays an important role in the fight against climate change because healthy peatlands remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it.

The document sets out the four types of peatland found in Scotland – blanket bogs, raised bogs, fens and bog woodland – as well as the plants and animals which live on them, including the rare Bog Sun Jumper Spider and carnivorous sundew.

It also includes 20 photographs, with detailed captions showing the role peat plays in the landscape and the various methods used to protect and restore it.

Scottish Renewables’ Director of Communications and Strategy, Nick Sharpe, said: “Both wind power and peatlands play a vital role in tackling the carbon emissions which cause climate change, so it’s only right that they complement each other. This publication shows how developers are caring for peatlands near their projects and spending millions of pounds correcting damage which has been done over many decades.

“The onshore wind sector is the backbone of Scotland’s energy system, but the many benefits it brings to rural Scotland are often not fully understood. This document goes some way to showing the renewable energy industry’s role as a key partner in Scotland’s rural areas, delivering jobs and investment, protecting and restoring natural habitats and tackling the most serious threat to Scotland’s biodiversity: climate change.”

The document was produced with help from RWE Renewables, ScottishPower Renewables and SSE Renewables, all of which employ peatland experts to oversee work at wind farm sites.

It also contains detail on The Scottish Government’s Carbon Calculator, which is used to ensure that the carbon payback is taken into account during decision making.

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