Jenny Bell looks at the potential implications for the offshore wind industry of the recent judicial review of four previously consented offshore wind farms off the coast of Scotland, successfully secured by the RSPB.

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Our Inverness based Senior Environmental Consultant Sarah Rauch-Lynch attended the recent Scottish Renewables Marine Conference in Inverness. As the industry progresses towards full commercialisation, she reports back on some of the issues discussed and considers some of the environmental challenges facing the industry and how they may be overcome.

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Atmos Consulting has welcomed a newly launched strategy to address a worrying decline in the population of Black Grouse in Southern Scotland. The new conservation plan was unveiled earlier this month by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in consultation with key partners including Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and RSPB Scotland.

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Recently published research has identified a larger effect of windfarm development on Golden plover than was previously  thought.  Published by the RSPB in the science journal, Ibis, the research investigated the  population  of Golden plover in the vicinity of  the  Gordonbush wind farm near Bonar Bridge  in  the Highlands. The purpose of the research  was to investigate the impact of a  wind farm  development at this site on the Golden plover population before, during and after its  construction.   Principal Ornithologist Jenny Bell considers what the new could mean for other wind farm developments.

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Society is increasingly taking more notice of the electricity we use and the sources it comes from. Renewable generating capacity has increased by 165% since 2010, now supports 460,000 jobs in the UK and provides 19% of our electricity. However, electricity is only part of the energy picture.  Senior EIA Consultant Sarah Whyte argues that we need to focus much more on renewable heat as we seek to make the transition to a low carbon economy.

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