Renewable energy opportunities for Scotland and Germany

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Scotland and Germany should work together to achieve their renewable energy targets, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will tell a conference today.

Mr Ewing will give the keynote address at the Windforce 2012 offshore wind conference in Bremen, Germany, and will tell the audience of the opportunities that come from working together.

At the conference, Mr Ewing will also witness the signing of a letter of intent for collaborative working between ForWind, a research partnership between three German Universities, and the Energy Technology Partnership, a research alliance of Scottish Universities.

On the second day of his three-day visit to Germany, Mr Ewing will give the keynote address at the conference and meet with representatives of a number of German companies who have already invested in, or are interested in investing in, Scotland.

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:

“Scotland and Germany have a history of cooperation and mutual trade that goes back to the 13th century.

“We have 36 twinning relationships between German and Scottish cities and towns, and Scotland has an 18,000 strong German community. Germany is our fourth largest market for exports, with exports worth £1,265 million in 2010, and this can only increase as Germany turns away from nuclear power and towards renewables.

“Both countries have highly ambitious renewable energy targets.

“Scotland leads the world in renewable energy. Planned offshore wind projects in Scotland have the potential to produce up to 10GW of electricity by 2020, and the industry could generate more than £7 billion for the economy by 2020.

“We want to share our experience, skills and expertise with our German counterparts.

“It makes sense for our two countries to work together to reach our targets, and that is why I’m delighted to witness the signing of this letter of intent between ForWind and the Energy Technology Partnership, which will see some of the finest minds in renewables research working together for a common goal.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Chair of the Energy Technology Partnership and Principal of the University of Strathclyde, said:

“Scotland is at the forefront of energy research and development. Through the Energy Technology Partnership, our universities are working together to build on a world-class research base that will help to achieve our renewable energy ambitions.

“Our global reputation in renewable energy is strengthened with international collaboration, and this partnership with Germany is an exciting development that underlines our success in driving forward innovation.”

Dr Stephan Barth, Managing Director of ForWind, said:

“The wind potential over the North Sea is one of the finest resources for renewable energy. By joining ETP’s and ForWind’s forces in research, development and training we can overcome technical obstacles and support the industry in delivering offshore wind power in Europe.”

Anne MacColl, Chief Executive, Scottish Development International, said: “We very much welcome the opportunity to increase our collaborative work with German universities and institutions in the area of offshore wind.

“Scotland is recognised worldwide for its expertise in renewable energy and this letter of intent further highlights our reputation as the partner of choice in major international projects. By building and strengthening international trade relations, we can support more home-grown companies to target new overseas markets and just as importantly, help investors view Scotland as the ideal place to locate and grow their business.”

Germany is Scotland’s fourth biggest export market and Scottish exports to Germany were worth £1,265 million in 2010. This figure is expected to grow given Germany’s decision to move away from nuclear energy.

Recent German investors in Scotland include Motel One, Enercon Limited, RePower, Dialog Smemiconductor and Enertrag, who join companies such as Allianz, BASF, E.ON, RWE, TUV Nel, SGL Carbon and Deutsche Bank.