Renewable energy infrastructure has developed at an extreme rate in the UK, in large part to its strong governmental leadership.
Off the coast of the UK lies some of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, with English Prime Minister David Cameron driving renewable energy initiatives that aim to see the entire country relying on wind power.
Not to be outdone by their closest neighbours, Scotland is developing an offshore renewable energy infrastructure system that is being lauded as an industry game changer.
“Scotland is a nation which has made a big contribution to the world in the past and has a huge amount to offer the world in the future,” says Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond. “We are ambitious for the future, both for ourselves and what we can contribute to the rest of the world.”
Salmond claims that the country’s commitment to offshore renewable energy technologies will bring with it results so transformative, they will be akin to Silicon Valley’s effects on California.
“I believe that developing the concentration of expertise, commitment and investment in marine energy that Scotland already possesses will make us the Silicon Valley of marine energy,” he says. “As hi-tech industries concentrated in Silicon Valley and transformed the economic landscape of Northern California, so marine energy will do for Scotland.”
The developments to which he refers to are the ongoing initiatives the Scottish industry and government forces are undertaking in the field of wave power technologies, including offshore wind and tidal devices.
Scotland currently owns 10 per cent of Europe’s marine energy infrastructure, with the government planning to further develop the sector in order to create an extensive and economically productive renewable energy sector.
“There are more different types of wave and tidal devices in the waters around Scotland than in the rest of the world combined and the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters leasing area is the world’s largest commercial scale marine energy site,” says Salmond.
The Scottish government is currently investing millions of dollars into developing technologies and education centres in order to support their new and progressive renewable energy commitments, like the £90m technology and innovation centre at Strathclyde University.
It seems that a ‘green race’ of sorts has begun between England and Scotland, with each country racing to dominate the offshore renewable energy sector. Both countries are promising to make great progress toward complete renewable energy reliance, with the alleged competition only fueling the development of environmentally responsible industries and practices.