Wind energy backed by 72% in Scotland

The result was hailed by environmental campaigners as a blow to US businessman Donald Trump, a high-profile critic of wind farms, ahead of his visit to the Scottish Parliament this week.

The tycoon, who has been angered by plans to build offshore turbines near the site of his Aberdeenshire golf course, is to appear before Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee on Wednesday as part of an investigation into renewable energy targets.

However, the YouGov poll for Scottish Renewables found that around 72% of adults in Scotland support wind power.

Nearly two in five (39%) said they strongly agreed with the statement, "I support the continuing development of wind power as part of a mix of renewables and conventional forms of electricity generation", and a further 33% said they tended to agree.

Of those polled, 15% disagreed with the statement, while the rest were neutral or did not have a view.

Young people were among the most in favour, with half of the 18 to 24 year-olds quizzed strongly supporting wind power and a third tending to back the continued development of the renewable energy source.

Scottish Renewables’ chief executive Niall Stuart said: "A massive majority of people have clearly stated their support for the continuing development of wind power – offshore and onshore – as part of our energy mix. The facts speak for themselves and we hope the committee will listen to the majority of Scots who have made their opinions very clear on the matter."

The results of the survey of 1,041 adults are a snapshot of a wider study, being made available later this week, on what Scots think about wind power, renewable energy targets and Mr Trump’s intervention into the debate.

The businessman has claimed that "monstrous" turbines would destroy the Scottish coastline. He has also warned First Minister Alex Salmond that wind farms risk turning the economy into a "third world wasteland that global investors will avoid".