The future success of Scotland’s renewables sector is best served by partnering the country’s natural resource to the support offered by being part of the UK, the Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said today.
The Minister was speaking after a visit to the Islay Energy Trust as part of a countrywide tour to meet real Scots who are working hard to create jobs for their own communities. The Islay Energy Trust is a community-owned organisation that aims to develop renewable energy projects for the benefit of the community whilst reducing Islay’s carbon footprint. The Sound of Islay has been identified as having one of the best tidal resources in the UK. Recently the Trust announced a new Tidal Energy Project, a world-first tidal array that will have the capacity to generate 10MW of electricity, the annual power usage on the islands of Islay and Jura.
The Secretary of State said:
“I have been very impressed by the project I have seen on Islay. There is no doubt Scotland has a wealth of renewable resource, including tidal, and the UK Government is helping to deliver the next generation of energy provision as part of a balanced mix.
“The key challenge is turning our potential into a commercial reality and I believe the best way to do that is within the UK, given the access to a broader consumer base and the help we are providing the sector. In this case, as in so many others, we really can achieve far more together than apart.”
Following the introduction of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in February, the visit reinforces the UK government’s commitment to renewable energy through:
- providing financial support for the renewables industry;
- working with stakeholders to remove barriers to delivery of new projects;
- aiding development of technology and innovation.
It is estimated that the UK has around 50 percent of Europe’s tidal energy resource, and harnessing tidal and wave energy has huge potential.
Generating energy from the power of waves or tides could provide up to 20 percent of current UK electricity demand and also help cut carbon emissions and support thousands of UK jobs. To help encourage further private investment in renewables, the UK Government has also created the UK Green Investment Bank, which will have its headquarters in Edinburgh and a transaction team in London. The UK GIB will provide funding for new renewable energy projects throughout the country and is one of a number of key policies designed help meet environmental objectives and promote long-term sustainable economic growth.