Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 11:38 UK

Renewable energy powers 250 jobs

Wind farm
The jobs will be aimed at developing wind and marine energy systems

Scotland's biggest power company has announced plans to create 250 renewable energy jobs in Glasgow, while safeguarding 70 more.

A new Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy (Ceere) will allow Scottish and Southern Energy, SSE, to develop wind and marine energy schemes.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the project put Glasgow at the epicentre of a key strand of engineering.

The jobs created are expected to be both highly skilled and highly paid.

A city centre site has yet to be identified for the project which will be developed with the University of Strathclyde.

Its remit will include design, engineering, project management, procurement and monitoring of the company's renewable energy sites across Europe.

The average salary of the workforce is expected to be above £50,000, signalling that the new jobs will be for highly qualified staff.

Renewable energy is at the heart of Scotland's new economy and society, alongside carbon capture and greater energy efficiency
Alex Salmond
First minister

This fits with the new emphasis of Scotland's inward investment effort, to bias its effort towards higher-value jobs.

It is also part of the strategy of linking Scotland's potential for renewable power generation with the jobs potential.

The Scottish government is backing the announcement with a grant of £2.8m.

A recent study for the government found there could be more than 12,000 jobs linked to expansion of the marine energy industry, including manufacturing of turbines and other equipment.

Following a meeting of the Scottish government's Energy Advisory Board, Alex Salmond commented: "Renewable energy is at the heart of Scotland's new economy and society, alongside carbon capture and greater energy efficiency.

"Achieving our ambitions requires a strong partnership between government, industry and the wider public sector".

"This initiative positions Glasgow at the epicentre of a key strand of 21st century engineering, just as the city dominated the engineering ages of the past."

'Rapid deployment'

Ian Marchant, chief executive of Perth-based SSE, said "Ceere will play a crucial part in helping SSE to realise its renewable energy goals in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, helping to secure energy supplies and contributing to the development of a lower carbon economy".

"Having considered all the options in mainland Europe, Ireland and the UK, we have settled on Glasgow as the best location for Ceere and the city's own sustainable energy ambitions also make it a very appropriate choice."

The company is in the second year of a £3bn, five-year investment programme in renewables.

Professor Jim McDonald, principal of Strathclyde University and an engineering expert, said: "If we are to address the challenges of climate change, rapid and widespread deployment of renewable energy technologies is critical.

"The new partnership reflects Scotland's potential to be at the forefront of the UK and European renewable energy sectors, creating new jobs and research and development opportunities."

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