Scotland’s First Minister today set out the case for an energy supergrid to maximise the country’s renewables potential.
The Scottish Government is keen to work with its north European neighbours on the project.
Alex Salmond was speaking after meeting Irish power firm Airtricity yesterday on a trip to Dublin.
The firm, which is to be bought over by Scottish and Southern Energy, was the original proposer of plans to develop a European offshore supergrid.
“Scotland boasts one of the greatest coastlines in the world for generating wind, wave and tidal energy,” Mr Salmond said today.
“Our natural environment provides us with a clear, competitive advantage in developing clean, green energy sources.”
He added: “We must harness the opportunities posed by our natural resources and I firmly believe developing the concept of a supergrid will enable us to do this.
“The north and east coasts of Scotland, the west coasts of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and the north coast of Germany have a huge potential for capturing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.
“The challenge we all share is the lack of an electricity grid infrastructure which can enable energy capture to exploit our marine renewable resources.”
Scotland and Ireland commissioned a pre-scoping study last year to identify the requirements of a full feasibility study to generate energy from offshore renewables.
An application to the European Commission’s territorial cooperation cross border programme is being prepared to support the detailed feasibility study and it is hoped to get the study under way later this year.
A separate North Sea Energy Grid (NSEG) study is exploring potential links between the north and east coasts of Scotland, and the coast of northern mainland Europe.
European partners are currently being sought by the Scottish Government to support the project.
“Scotland is already leading the way in providing safe and sustainable energy,” Mr Salmond added.
“The development of a supergrid is fundamental to our plans for increasing the supply and use of renewable energy in Scotland.”
14 February 2008
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