SCOTLAND has for some time led the UK’s efforts to be greener and cleaner, setting and meeting ambitious greenhouse targets and being at the forefront of green technologies.

It’s right and proper that an experienced energy-producing nation like Scotland should pursue a green agenda, particularly since it makes business as well as environmental sense. We’re clearly on the right side of the argument at a time when there is still much work to be done in persuading some – such as President Donald Trump – of the necessity of a greener future that will reduce the devastating effects of climate change we are seeing around the globe.

News that the use of electric vehicle charge points in Scotland has soared by 43 per cent in the last year is the latest evidence that consumers are increasingly prepared to go green. According to the RAC Foundation, Scotland is on the cusp of a “motoring revolution”, but will need more and better plug-in infrastructure to ensure a smooth transition to electric vehicles.

But the vast amounts of portable electricity that will need to be produced to service this revolution will doubtless leave some perplexed about how and where it is being produced.

In particular, our planners must ensure they strike the right balance when considering what renewable energy projects should be given the go-ahead.

And, as pointed out by David Gibson, outgoing chief executive of Mountaineering Scotland, it’s vital that we protect our country’s wild beauty from overly intrusive wind farms.

Mr Gibson, who leaves his post next March after 11 years in the role, believes some areas of the Highlands have already been “irrevocably damaged” by turbines, and warns that others – including the Creag Riabhach Wind Farm in Sutherland, and the Stronelairg scheme in the Monadhliath mountains south east of Loch Ness – could “wreck the landscape”.

The Scottish Government revised its planning framework in 2014, adopting rules aimed at protecting Scotland’s most rugged and beautiful landscapes. Many campaigners, however, believe the new approach falls short, that it is too difficult and expensive to challenge wind farm decisions.

Scotland’s reputation as a prestigious tourist destination with some of the most stunning scenery on the planet continues to grow apace – VisitScotland estimates that tourism is now worth in the region of £11 billion a year to the economy.

We must be careful that our voracious appetite for wind farms does not threaten the goose that lays the golden egg. Scots, too, of course, should be able to fully enjoy the majesty of our mountains and wilderness.

Wind turbines will doubtless play a part of our energy strategy for some time to come. But we must surely encourage other, less intrusive solutions – such as offshore wind and wave technology – too. Our ancient landscape deserves and requires respect and consideration.