YOU wait for big political developments, then a whole stack appear at once, in parliaments on both sides of the Border.

In Scotland, Humza Yousaf laid out his first Programme for Government; at Westminster, Sir Keir Starmer laid out his new Blairite shadow cabinet; Rishi Sunak took pelters over crumbling classrooms; his Education Secretary guaranteed an early departure with a self-pitying, sweary outburst; while Stephen Flynn slightly reshuffled his Westminster team to give big jobs to the SNP MPs staying on after 2024.

It was all interesting stuff.

But perhaps most significant was one small line in Yousaf’s speech where he pledged to halve the consenting time for onshore wind projects. Why does that matter? Because it confirms that the approach towards onshore wind is still one of the biggest differences between Holyrood and Westminster.

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Scottish politicians have been united in backing the world’s second cheapest form of energy since 2007, while the British Government has totally banned onshore windfarms for almost a decade south of the Border lest the slightest glimpse of a turbine upsets Tory voters.

Yip, never mind the climate, the 70% public support for onshore wind (even in England) and the fact wind is far cheaper than gas. David Cameron decided to let one local objector block onshore wind projects in 2015 and backed fracking instead. How did that work out?

Anyway, Dave’s disastrous de facto wind veto was effectively reversed on Tuesday night by a Commons vote – not because the Prime Minister who launched 100 new oil and gas licences has finally seen eco-sense, but because Sunak faced a Tory rebellion, led by former COP26 president Alok Sharma (below), who was ready to amend the Energy Bill if necessary to finally get wind farms in England going.

The National: Alok Sharma delivers a keynote speech

And Rishi did what Rishi does – he performed a perfect volte-face and let Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove announce changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, which effectively ends the onshore wind veto in England. Whoop. Whoop.

Individual complainants can no longer block new onshore windfarm projects. But councils can still turn down proposals without any right of appeal by developers. And according to Labour’s Ed Miliband, an incinerator will still get through the English planning process faster than a wind turbine.

Aye, what are they like? But why does it matter to Scots and to Yessers?

Well, the next time you hear someone suggest Scotland is not different enough to justify independence, or that an independent Scotland would not be investable, the next time you hear critics of the Scottish Government suggest its green policies are somehow “anti-business” – point them in the direction of truly uninvestable, fossil-fuel addicted England where the Nimby concerns of the posh rural few have triumphed over the cheap, sustainable energy needs of the many and the future of the planet for almost a decade.

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This pig-headed approach means billpayers forked out £5.1 billion last year alone, (£182 for every household) to remain reliant on more expensive climate-destroying fossil fuels – a figure calculated by the award-winning think tank Carbon Brief and quoted this week by Tory rebel and former energy minister, Chris Skidmore MP.

And even though the cost of vetoing wind energy is Westminster’s mea culpa, it’s ALL UK billpayers who have to fork out. So even though Scotland got well ahead, backing onshore wind from the minute Alex Salmond became First Minister in 2007, and now produces 61% of the UK’s onshore wind, with just 32% of the land area and 8% of its population – Scots are coughing up extra on bills as if Scotland had been as slow as our petrol and nuclear-heided neighbours down south.

Not to mention the colder climate in Scotland, the higher standing charges, higher prices for green producers connecting to the UK grid and wind-rich islands totally unable to connect because 25 years on, they’re still waiting for big enough subsea connectors.

But at least England is on the right track now?

Mebbes aye, mebbes naw. The scale of the about-turn they must now perform is massive. Last year just two turbines went up in England. Two.

More were erected in war-torn Ukraine.

The National: A computer-generated image of what the Sanquhar II wind farm could look like once it's up and

According to James Robottom, head of onshore wind at RenewableUK, it could be too late to revive faith in England, because renewables investors won’t waste more time on wind applications Tory councils are just waiting to reject. Especially when there are other better, friendlier, more wind-experienced places to go – like Scotland.

And there’s another reason for investor caution.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is expected to announce the results of the Government’s fifth Contracts for Difference allocation today.

But many companies have chosen not to bid this time around because the “administrative strike price” in the contracts is too low to make most offshore wind projects viable, especially given soaring inflation in supply chain costs for offshore wind companies.

According to Nathan Bennett of RenewableUK: “It will be a huge knock to investor confidence today if the auction turns out to be deeply unsuccessful.”

Will it? Well, the British Treasury minister Gareth Davies has just pulled out of a meeting with green energy bosses. Just saying.

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To say the British Government is giving mixed messages on renewable energy is putting it very mildly.

Now I’m not saying all wind farms are great. Some are badly sited, many are too big – mostly to please the energy firms privatised by Thatcher who decide whether to supply the necessary grid connections.

Wind development companies owned by the Scottish state or local councils would have been great, the undervalued Scotwind offshore licencing round was a fiasco and more turbines should be community-owned – but that became hard once Dear Dave axed subsidies.

So, this is where we are.

Scotland, like the rest of the world, welcomes wind developers.

But despite Tuesday’s climbdown by Sunak (below), onshore wind in England will still be vetoed and delayed by Tory councils and offshore wind will not get the price guarantees handed out like confetti to nuclear operators.

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And yet somehow, dear old Blighty still aims to produce clean electricity by 2035 – as Scotland already does. In fact, we export more than a third of our electricity to England and Northern Ireland.

I think that’s what you call punching above your weight – and Scotland achieved this without direct control over energy, which needs independence – but simply through planning policy, which Westminster could have emulated, and through grown-up political consensus which the “Mother of Parliaments”

clearly cannot.

So, let’s be clear. Climate denial and turbine aversion are fast making England uninvestable for green energy. And green is fast becoming the colour of all sensible investment.

Bear this in mind when lazy attacks are made on the Scottish Government for favouring the green transition over business interests.

The two are actually indivisible and the government that tried for a decade to think otherwise has just been made to eat very humble pie.