Scotland warms up to its role as renewable energy leader

The Life: Scotland seems to be increasingly confident on the global stage for alternative energy. This week, a phalanx of Scottish companies are descending on Abu Dhabi for the World Future Energy Summit.

This column usually focuses on one particular city. This week, however, it brings you an entire country: Scotland. This is to mark the arrival of a phalanx of Scottish companies for the World Future Energy Summit (WFES).
In the mid-noughties, Scotland's commentators and politicians were constantly fretting about "Scottish cringe" - the inferiority complex caused by the perceived dominance of the English. But of late, Scotland seems to be increasingly confident on the world stage. It has even started tooting its own horn about being a global leader in renewable energy. And certainly, this is one factor driving its deepening relations with the UAE and the Middle East.
Scotland has a quarter of Europe's wind and tidal power potential and aims to generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of its own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. The country says it is well placed to transfer the expertise and know-how it has amassed.
At the WFES last year, Scotland and Masdar agreed to develop a programme to deliver clean energy projects, focusing on joint investment and development opportunities, technical cooperation, policymaking and best-practice initiative in four areas: offshore and onshore wind; carbon capture and storage; investment in the low carbon economy; and renewable energy research and development.
Following on this year, The Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research will be conducting meetings with Masdar throughout the week.
In addition, the 11 Scottish companies - the biggest delegation to date - will be looking for new collaborations, strategic alliances and licensing agreements. The companies include energy-from-waste firms Powercrofters and Argent Energy; AppleGreen Homes, which develops energy efficient and sustainable buildings; and research groups from Scottish universities.
"Energy forms the cornerstone of Scotland's bilateral trade and investment partnership with the GCC," said Mark Hallan, the EMEA director at Scottish Development International, the organisation that develops Scotland's trade links. "This relationship continues to mature as we combine our mutual strengths and experience in alternative energy."
 
lgutcher@thenational.ae

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