Scotland and Norway will play a key role in Europe’s green energy market, Alex Salmond said yesterday.
The first minister said the countries would build on expertise in the hydro-electricity and offshore oil and gas sectors to drive the industry.
Mr Salmond has welcomed progress on NorthConnect – a venture between Scottish and Southern Energy, three Norwegian companies and Swedish firm Vattenfall – to construct a Scotland-Norway interconnector joining UK and Scandinavian electricity grids.
The SNP leader, speaking at a renewables conference in Bergen, also highlighted technology due to be deployed in the world’s first and only consented tidal turbine farm in the Sound of Islay.
The Scottish Government has set a target of producing 100% of electricity demand through renewable energy by 2020. It claims the sector currently supports more than 11,000 jobs in Scotland with the development of offshore wind alone predicted to create up to 28,000 jobs by 2020.
Mr Salmond said: “Norway and Scotland have been blessed with a wealth of natural resources. Building on our hydro heritage and offshore energy engineering expertise gained from North Sea oil and gas, our nations are clearly well placed to make a huge contribution to Europe’s green energy ambitions.”
NorthConnect chairman Odd Oygarden welcomed the Scottish Government’s support.