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Argument: Hydropower has gained political favor in Scotland

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"Hydropower might be the renewable answer". Times online. 27 April 2008 - There are signs that hydro may have a new political champion. Jim Mather, Scotland's energy minister, has commissioned a report into the technology that is due next month.

The minister, a native Highlander who is said to be “wildly enthusiastic” about hydro, has even requested a meeting with Douglas. But the engineer warns that any politician backing hydro faces pressure from power companies concerned about costs and environmentalists worried about the effect on rivers and fish.

“On a recent exercise we did for a private client, we updated our assessments and [provided] a selection of schemes, in areas that would be reasonably easy to connect to the grid,” says Douglas. “Having looked at the figures, they went for further wind investment, for the simple reason that it is hugely subsidised. As a personal view, I would get rid of all subsidies, because I think there is a tendency now to invest purely on the short term, for a quick return.”

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