Can Scottish green growth lead the world?
16 Feb 12 - Martin McAdam, Chief Executive Officer
Earlier today I spoke at a debate hosted by the Carbon Trust and
The Times newspaper on the topic "Can Scottish green growth lead
The simple answer, from my perspective, was "yes we can".
In many respects Scotland already punches well above its weight.
Although our population is just nine per cent of the whole of the
UK, Scotland has over 45 per cent of its renewable energy
In total the UK has just over 10,000MW of renewable capacity
installed. Of this, 4,600MW is in Scotland. Whatever the future
holds, the UK will be dependent on green energy from Scotland to
meet its low carbon energy goals.
In the context of a market like China, which now has 67GW of
installed renewable energy, what is happening in Scotland may seem
small. Clearly our country cannot lead the world in
installations, but it can and should lead the world in innovation,
technology development, and eventually in the export of new
technologies such as wave and tidal.
We are already on track. Scotland has a global lead in these
technologies, whilst the significant inward investment in Scottish
enterprises from global conglomerates such as Mitsubishi, Gamesa
and most recently Samsung Heavy Industries are testament to other
people's confidence in our ability to deliver offshore wind.
This confidence, I believe, is based on a growing green 'eco
system' that is providing the foundations for massive success.
Scotland has some great natural advantages in:
• resource, with the best wind, wave and tidal resource in
• technology, with some of the leading firms in the wave, tidal and
offshore wind arena; and
• skills - with Aberdeen a genuine global hub of offshore
But these natural advantages are not enough. To capitalise fully
on the renewable opportunity requires vision, stable regulatory
policies and the means to fund the vision.
The Scottish Government has shown leadership through the vision
of the First Minister and a 2020 goal to meet 100 per cent of
Scotland's total electricity demand through renewable energy
The policies that will enable the vision are in place too,
together with the early stage incentives and funding that all new
We have the vision, and we have the policies, but they cannot
deliver new industries alone.
The final piece of the jigsaw is financial. We need private
sector investment, and on a large scale, to buy into this positive
vision and make Scotland not the biggest, but the best, most
innovative export-led green economy in the world.
Click here for my full statement from this
morning's debate 'Can Scottish green growth lead the world?