Thursday, 16 October 2008

SNP Conference - becoming Europe's green energy powerhouse

With the ongoing discussions in Brussels about the EU’s climate change package I decided this evening to go along to a fringe event that was organised by the Carbon Trust and was discussing how innovation will help Scotland exploit its natural resources to become Europe’s green energy powerhouse. There was much agreement that Scotland has the opportunity to lead the world in terms of the technologies it is developing and the legislation it is bringing forward for tackling climate change.

The resources we have around our shores, especially the Pentland Firth offers Scotland huge opportunities for the development of a low carbon economy which is now all the more urgent. For a low carbon economy we need to do much more with regard to energy efficiency and make much less use of our energy and we need to have clean energy supplies (renewables). Scotland also has a huge opportunity to export low carbon technologies to new markets, which will enable us to achieve our economic objectives by creating high quality jobs as well as those of sustainability and at the same time ensure sustainable economic growth.

Among the various sepakers was Graham Bibby from
AWS, Ocean Energy which is based in Alness, Rosshire and deals largely with developing marine energy technology for the wave and tidal sector. AWS was set up in 2004 and is looking to commercialise the Archimedes Wave Swing (AWS) wave power system. They plan to deploy a 250kW demonstrator in 2009 with commercial roll-out by 2011. To reach target of 1300 MW marine energy he reckoned they would need to create at least 2,000 high quality jobs with a further 2,000 in the supply chain. I hope in the near future to be able to get the chance to visit Alness and to see for myself the AWS wave power system - but this is exactly where Scotland needs to be by way of pioneering the cutting edge technology that is going to help us build a low carbon economy that will provide the high quality jobs necessary for Scotland's sustainable future.

Photo: Aileen with Rob Gibson MSP and Graham Biddy of AWS Ocean Energy

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