A team of government and industry leaders from Japan’s eastern seaboard are set to come to Scotland to plan for the development of marine energy in Japan following an invitation by Finance Secretary John Swinney.
Iwate Prefecture was one of the areas worst affected by last year’s tsunami and subsequent events at Fukushima nuclear power station. The invitation supports Japan’s focus on developing viable alternative energy generation.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney met with Mr Hisaki Miyadate, deputy governor of Iwate Prefecture, and invited a delegation to visit Scotland to witness at first hand world leading facilities in the development of marine energy.
Japan has increased its focus on renewable energy and a partnership was announced last month between the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and the Ocean Energy Association of Japan (OEAJ) to develop Japan’s first marine energy test centre and share Scottish expertise in marine innovation.
John Swinney said:
“Scotland supports the people of the Iwate Prefecture following last year’s tragic events, and we are offering assistance to help Japan further develop its marine energy ambitions.
“A visit to Scotland would allow Iwate to gather experience and knowledge of our marine energy policy, planning and technology development. Scotland is blessed with some of the world’s greatest green energy resources offshore. The European Marine Energy Centre’s unrivalled expertise has already been recognised through a Memorandum of Understanding to share Scottish expertise in marine innovation.
“The large number of companies now developing wave and tidal technologies in Scotland, combined with our £10 million Saltire Prize, is leading international efforts to harness the unbridled energy of the seas, offering a blueprint for the sustainable generation of clean, green electricity and helping protect the planet for future generations.”
Professor Takeshi Kinoshita, chairman of OEAJ, said: ”The Japanese government has become very optimistic about the potential for marine energy. We have signed an MOU with EMEC and are looking forward to their valuable advice as we undertake a wide-reaching survey in Iwate prefecture. The survey will look at all the issues and possibilities as we seek the right location, facilities and management for a marine energy test site. We also need to consider how to make the site attractive to businesses, to ensure it is economically viable once established and that taxpayers’ money is used well.”