16. The policies in this SPP recognise that future renewable generation technologies, the electricity market and transmission grid availability may develop in ways that cannot be foreseen. The intention is to review the position regularly. In the first instance, the focus should be on facilitating early progress towards national targets in an environmentally acceptable way whilst, at the same time, recognising that new distribution and transmission networks need to be developed to harness Scotland's renewables potential.
17. The Scottish Ministers expect planning authorities to make positive provision for renewable energy developments by:
- supporting a diverse range of renewable energy technologies including encouraging the development of emerging and new technologies;
- recognising the importance of fully engaging with local communities and other stakeholders at all stages of the planning process;
- guiding development to appropriate locations and providing clarity on the issues that will be taken into account when assessing specific proposals; and
- maximising environmental, economic and social benefits;
while at the same time:
- meeting international and national statutory obligations to protect designated areas, species and habitats and protecting the historic environment from inappropriate forms of development; and
- ensuring impacts on local communities and other interests are satisfactorily addressed. Such interests will vary from technology to technology. Further guidance is given in the following paragraphs.