Thursday 13 Jan 2011 @ 13:29
Scotland is a key region for offshore renewables potential, according to the European Commission.
A report published today by the European grid co-ordinator Georg Adamowitsch recognises Scotland's North Sea renewables resource and highlights Scotland's action as 'a fine example' of how to utilise different offshore technologies.
An offshore grid is a European priority project and Scotland is working with the UK and nine other countries to create a North Sea grid.
The news comes on the day that Parliament debates the UK Government's proposed Electricity Market Reforms.
Energy Minister Jim Mather said:
"Scotland will be at the heart of plans to deliver a North Sea offshore grid to interconnect European electricity networks. We are playing a full part in its development, plugging Scotland in to be able to export even greater amounts of clean, green energy, helping cut emissions and ensuring the future security of European energy supplies.
"We are working closely with other countries to develop the grid and I am therefore pleased that our vast offshore resources have today been recognised as being of European significance.
"This report is further evidence that we have used our powers very successfully to create a strong support framework for all renewable energy technologies, helping to bring forward investment at a scale and speed needed to meet our renewable energy ambitions. The UK's Electricity Market Reforms that Parliament is debating today are crucial to ensuring we have the right regulatory frameworks and support mechanisms to drive industry and investor confidence to deliver that.
"I am determined to ensure the UK Government gets these reforms right and I want to see Scotland's powers maintained or enhanced in the proposed reforms. Today's debate is a further opportunity for Scotland's voice to be heard."
The report also highlights the work of the University of Aberdeen on the development of a DC transmission networks using DC/DC transformers. The Aberdeen University work involves investigating new technology to support the development of the North Sea Grid and has been awarded European Research Council funding of more than £600,000 to develop design and management software for the grid.