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Scotland to host Offshore Renewables Hub HQ
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing yesterday welcomed the decision of the UK Technology Strategy Board to headquarter its ‘Catapult’ innovation centre for offshore renewables in Scotland.
Mr Ewing said the choice of Glasgow for the headquarters of the new Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult - with the operational centre in Northumberland close to the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) - was recognition of Scotland’s leading position in the development of offshore renewables technology.
Under the plans, the ORE Catapult is to be headquartered in the International Technology & Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ), which already incorporates Strathclyde University’s £89 million Technology Innovation Centre and has secured industry partners including Scottish and Southern Energy, ScottishPower and the Weir Group.
Mr Ewing said:
“The waters around these islands, and off Scotland in particular, offer the greatest offshore renewables resources in Europe. Building on that natural advantage, this new industry-led partnership - including Scotland’s two major utilities - can help accelerate the development of clean green energy to power the continent sustainably.
“Major overseas companies such as Mitsubishi, Gamesa, Samsung, ABB, Alstom, E.ON and Vattenfall are already working with leading Scottish energy and engineering firms to invest in the development of pioneering wind and marine energy technologies. Yesterday’s decision is a further, welcome recognition of Scotland’s leading position - and that of the city of Glasgow - in this endeavour, taking us a further step towards the reindustrialisation of our country.
“Through Scottish Enterprise, we have already committed up to £24 million to the ITREZ, along with £15 million from the Scottish Funding Council, and that commitment has helped secure the critical mass of engineering and science from Scottish universities and industry partners that has attracted this important announcement. I congratulate SE and their bid partners in developing such a strong project and look forward to seeing the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult operational and contributing to the low carbon ambitions of Scotland, the UK and Europe.”
Scotland’s renewable energy sector is estimated to have secured a record-breaking £750 million of investment in the year to October 2011, with a pipeline of proposed projects with 17 gigawatts of generating capacity, worth an estimated capital investment of £46 billion.
Last month South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries, following extensive engagement with Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise, unveiled plans to base its first European offshore wind project in Fife in an inward venture worth up to £100 million that is expected to create more than 500 new jobs in Scotland.
ITREZ is Scotland’s International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone - a global research & development hub, bringing business and academia together to work collaboratively on the development of the offshore renewables sector. ITREZ is supported by the Energy Technology Partnership, which brings together energy specialists from across Scotland’s universities. Plans for the £89 million state-of-the-art Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), located within the ITREZ, were outlined last year when First Minister Alex Salmond visited the facility. Together, the ITREZ and TIC projects are expected to create 700 new research jobs and support 850 existing jobs.
Scottish Enterprise has committed up to £11 million to the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre and a further £13 million to the ITREZ Industry Engagement Building. More>>
The bid team that prepared and submitted the successful proposal to the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) was a 3-way partnership between Ocean Energy Innovation (a consortium of Scottish partners represented by SE), Narec and the Carbon Trust. Ocean Energy Innovation partners are Scottish Enterprise, Scottish and Southern Energy, Scottish Power Renewables, the Energy Technology Partnership - drawn in part from Scottish universities research pools - the Advanced Manufacturing Institute (Sheffield), the Scottish European Green Energy Centre, the European Marine Energy Centre, Scottish Renewables and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. See more on the Technology Strategy Board announcement.