Scottish renewable energy expertise in demand across globe

Illustration (Photo: Colin Keldie/EMEC)

Scottish renewable energy businesses are working on a number of renewable energy projects, including tidal and wave, in more than 40 countries around the world.

A new research by industry body Scottish Renewables found that renewable energy companies across Scotland have been involved in projects worth £125.3 million in 43 countries, employing staff in 22 of those countries.

Examples of such global reach include Orkney-based consultancy Aquatera’s involvement in the creation of marine energy projects in the United States, Chile, Japan, Columbia, Peru and Indonesia.

Also, St Andrews-based SMRU Consulting is working in the Bay of Fundy, Canada, to monitor how porpoises and dolphins interact with tidal energy turbines, while Orkney’s European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) was called upon to plan for the development of a wave and tidal energy industry in Nagasaki, Japan.

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, said: “The stretching targets set in Scotland have meant our home-grown green energy industry has developed skills which are in demand on every inhabited continent, bringing investment and income to Scotland from across the world.

“Countries like Japan, Canada and Chile have seen the lead we’ve built up in wave and tidal energy and now employ Scottish organisations to advise them on developing their own marine energy resources.”

Other examples of Scottish companies at the forefront of global renewable energy development include Windhoist which provided cranes to build wind farms in Morocco and South Africa, and Glasgow’s Star Renewable Energy which has installed a heat pump in Drammen, Norway, now providing warmth for the city’s 63,000 residents and business.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, added: “Low-carbon industries and their supply chains generated almost £11bn in 2014 and supported 43,500 jobs, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics published recently.

“Together with this new research from Scottish Renewables, the figures reinforce the growing importance of the low-carbon industries, including renewable energy businesses, to the Scottish economy and vindicates the Scottish Government’s support for the sector and the increasingly crucial role it plays within our energy mix and the wider economy.”

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