Monday, 16 February 2009

New front opens on Scotland's offshore wind

Alex Salmond opened the doors today to Seaenergy renewables based in Aberdeen following the announcement today by the Crown Estate that SeaEnergy has been given the green light to explore and develop the Beatrice offshore wind farm site in the Moray Firth and the Inch Cape for offshore wind. If operating at maximum capacity, these sites would have the potential to generate a massive 6GW of offshore windpower. This equates to Scotland's peak electricity consumption.

The Crown Estate announced a number of other exclusive agreements for companies to survey areas of the seabed to develop offshore wind and other types of marine renewables. The shores around the Highlands and Islands are laden with enormous green energy potential just waiting to be tapped into. The oil fabrication yard at Nigg could become a hub for the engineering and construction of renewable energy developments (deep water offshore wind turbines, tidal and wave turbines), putting it right at the cutting edge of such developments and making it not only good for the local economy but for Scotland as a whole also. The Scottish Government has already revealed that there could be 16,000 Scottish jobs in green energy by 2020 by progressing its action across energy generation, energy efficiency and transport, tackling climate change and at the same time saving people and businesses alike money.

I am delighted at the news today. With Jim Murphy in Edinburgh selling his soul to the nuclear lobbyists in his grand plan to convince Scots of their need for a nuclear future, today's announcement underlines the extent to which Scotland's energy companies are leading the way in the development of clean, green energy and the boost this will bring to Scotland's economy by way of increased investment, more jobs and opportunities.

I had the chance to spend some time with SeaEnergy last August when I was up at their offices in the outskirts of Aberdeen to meet with the team and find out what the company was seeking to do in terms of helping Scotland to take full advantage of the massive offshore wind potential that is sitting out in the Moray Firth in particular.

I've already put in a call to congratulate them and look forward to having the chance to meet with them soon to discuss their plans.

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