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Monday, 10 December, 2001, 09:19 GMT
Green energy boost for Scotland
Wind farm
Wind farms are a source of renewable energy
Scotland has enough potential wind and wave energy to look after its own needs and help supply the rest of the UK, according to a major new study.

Scottish Environment Minister Ross Finnie says the findings of the independent report represent a huge opportunity for Scotland.

It has long been known that Scotland has the best wind energy potential in Europe, but the study suggests it is a hefty 23% of the total.

Ross Finnie
Ross Finnie: Huge opportunity
Adding wave and tidal stream energy takes the potential generating capacity to 60 gigawatts at reasonable cost - equivalent to three quarters of Britain's existing capacity.

There is a big gap between the potential available energy and what can reasonably be harnessed, but the independent consultants have found there is enough potential from onshore wind power to meet Scotland's peak-winter demand twice over.

And that is without building wind farms on designated scenic areas.

A second report, also published on Monday, suggests there is enough room in the national grid to meet the Scottish Executive's target of 18% of electricity from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

However, Mr Finnie said that the connectors that would link such schemes to the grid were not yet in place.

"We do need to invest in that, and that is going to be a joint venture in which the utility companies themselves will have to deal with those investing in this new technology," he said.

"But both reports demonstrate that Scotland, both in environmental terms and in economic terms, stands to gain hugely from this potential energy resource."

See also:

08 Feb 01 | Scotland
Green energy plea rejected
08 Feb 01 | Scotland
Councils fail recycling test
20 Nov 00 | Sci/Tech
How it works: Wave power station
16 Nov 00 | Scotland
Making waves to generate cash
30 Aug 00 | Scotland
Wind farm opposition 'blows over'
28 Mar 00 | Sci/Tech
UK lags on riding 'green wave'
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