Harnessing new North Sea potential

Scotland has been identified as a key region in the North Sea area for offshore renewables potential by the European Commission, and with that in mind local MP Michael Moore is determined that Eyemouth is right there as the energy industry develops.

An offshore grid is a European priority project and Scotland - with up to 25 per cent of Europe’s offshore wind, wave and tidal energy potential - is working with the UK and nine other countries to create a North Sea grid.

European grid co-ordinator Georg Adamowitsch has described Scotland’s offshore plans as ‘a fine example’ of how to utilise different offshore technologies.

Several sites off the Berwickshire coast are being investigated for potential offshore windfarm developments and Michael Moore has been meeting with local council officials and Eyemouth business representatives to ensure that the fishing port is in with a shout when it comes to onshore support for the windfarm developments - an essential diversification for Eyemouth as the local fishing industry struggles to survive.

Scottish Energy Minister, Jim Mather, said this week: “Scotland will be at the heart of plans to deliver a North Sea offshore grid to interconnect European electricity networks.

“We are playing a full part in its development, plugging Scotland in to be able to export even greater amounts of clean, green energy, helping cut emissions and ensuring the future security of European energy supplies.

“We are working closely with other countries to develop the grid and I am therefore pleased that our vast offshore resources have today been recognised as being of European significance.

“This report is further evidence that we have used our powers very successfully to create a strong support framework for all renewable energy technologies, helping to bring forward investment at a scale and speed needed to meet our renewable energy ambitions.

“It is vital that we harness our renewable resources, and develop a grid infrastructure so that we can export the massive quantities of green energy Scotland is capable of producing.

“We want Scotland to benefit from the significant economic, environmental and technical opportunities in developing an offshore transmission network.

“The presence of the North Sea Offshore Grid as one of the six infrastructure priorities within the European Commissions Strategic Energy Review will give significant impetus to our efforts to understand, to develop, and then to deliver Scotland’s offshore renewable energy potential.”