Scotland is to get a green energy centre, called rather cleverly the Scottish European Green Energy Centre, which will help out the EU in tackling its big-ass carbon cutting plan by giving other European countries a nice helping hand on research into renewable energy.
There were no timescales, targets or cash amounts put on the centre by First Minister Alex Salmond but there were a lot of fine, fine words as he spoke at the European Movement Energy Conference. And here they are, reprinted for you edification:
“Not long ago, Scotland’s climate was seen as something of a drawback. Well no longer. Now our powerful waters and our high winds – onshore and offshore – are the envy of Europe, and key to our future prosperity.
“Our universities and industry punch above their weight – and here at Aberdeen University, and in Glasgow and Edinburgh, we have seen them come together through the new Energy Technology Partnership, and its work to develop and disseminate ground-breaking renewables and low carbon research.
“So we can offer a powerful shared commitment between Government, industry and our universities. But we also know that we can learn much from European countries, whether they be near neighbours or from further afield.
“That is why I am proud to announce that we intend to develop a new Scottish European Green Energy Centre, to become an EU agency within five years.
It will draw upon the strengths of the Energy Technology Partnership and build on the broad network of European research and industry-wide partnerships we already have in place. It will use this strong base to develop new and strengthened links and deliver new projects.
“I am pleased that European Commissioners have offered us strong support for the idea. In the immediate term we will build on the many existing initiatives already in place and secure EU funding streams in energy and research to support the activities of the centre. I am also delighted to report that Scottish companies are keen to give this project their full support.
“And it is only right that the hub of the new centre will be based in Aberdeen – based at the new Energy Technologies Institute, a joint venture between Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.
“I want to see Scotland working as a full and equal partner with our fellow countries in the North West Atlantic actively deploying the new energy technologies for the benefit of all. We want Scottish based industry and research to be at the forefront of European and world developments in this field. I want Aberdeen – and Glasgow and Edinburgh for that matter – to be the real European energy centres of the future as well as the present.”