Aberdeen is trying to build a reputation as a world leader in energy. Not just oil and gas, it’s aiming to 'build a brand' based on renewable energy. Wind power is part of that vision. The trouble is – large wind turbines don’t fit the vision that Donald Trump has for the area.
There’s an application to put up 11 turbines, a couple of miles off the coast of Trump’s new golf course. He doesn’t like the look of them and is keen to tell as many people as possible. He told me “Scotland will be broke” if they go ahead with wind power. He says tourism will suffer if the coastline is cluttered with wind farms. He also claims they’re not cost effective in the first place as they require subsidies.
Trump is now picking a very public fight with the Scottish Parliament. He’s due to speak in front of a committee of MSPs who are looking into renewable energy. Trump is urging a change of course.
On the other hand, First Minister Alex Salmond isn't one to shy away from a fight. He says he welcomes all kinds of investment but “just investing in Scotland doesn’t mean you own the country”. There are many in Aberdeen and in Scotland who support wind power. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, which is behind the application for a windfarm in Aberdeen, says it would provide half the energy needs of the city. They say the site is important in the research for the next generation of wind turbines. Donald Trump will appear before the committee in Edinburgh on April 25.
Lewis Vaughan Jones reports on Donald Trump's preparation for battle with the Scottish Parliament, over plans to build wind turbines near his golf course in Aberdeenshire.