Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wave Hello To A New Industry

There's that phrase again - according to Alex Salmond, Scotland is the "Saudi Arabia of marine power". We have also in the past been dubbed the 'Saudi
Arabia of Wind', but funnily enough never the 'Saudi Arabia of Solar'. I wonder if Saudi Arabia ever calls itself "the Scotland of Oil"?

Actually, in this case Salmond is right in his analogy - our geography is perfectly positioned to take advantage of marine energy schemes. The government has announced ten sites today which will see wave and tidal projects produce 1.2 Gigawatts of power.

If you're wondering just how big that is, 1.2 GW is the capacity of Europe's dirtiest coal power station - Cockenzie, just outside Edinburgh.

And the great thing is, that's just the start. Some of the schemes will fare better than others, but it's great to see a nascent industry being encouraged by the government instead of being told to bugger off like Onshore Wind was back in the 1990s.

Now what we need is investment in battery and energy storage solutions so that we don't let energy produced by the marine schemes go to waste when it's not needed.

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