The Scottish First Minister revealed during the meeting in Bilbao that Gamesa will be sending a delegation to Scotland this month to evaluate opportunities for investing in renewables there. "We have an estimated 25% of Europe's offshore wind and tidal resource and 10% of its wave potential, a renewable energy resource which is unrivalled in Europe and together no doubt we will see significant progress and groundbreaking achievements in low carbon energy generation and innovation,” highlighted Salmond.
"Only last year, ScottishPower Renewables officially opened Whitelee, Europe's largest onshore windfarm, and we continue to watch with interest as the company develops world-leading plans for Carbon Capture and Storage technology at Longannet power station in Fife. These developments will all play a part in spearheading a whole new industry that could support tens of thousands of jobs and further spur on the renewables revolution," he added.
Scotland strategic to Iberdrola
During the First Minister’s visit to Bilbao, Salmond also met with Ignacio Galán, Chairman of Iberdrola, parent of ScottishPower and another Spanish renewable energy heavyweight, to discuss Iberdrola's plans for investment in Scotland.
During the talks, Galán revealed that: "In the coming years, Iberdrola will intensify its firm commitment to Scotland. We plan to make investments in the United Kingdom of £4,000 million in the 2010-2012 period, two-thirds of which will go to Scotland”.
"In the future, we want to see many more Basque companies going down the same road, setting up new business relationships, promoting the transfer of knowledge and technology and ultimately, creating new business opportunities. This will mean that Iberdola will continue to be a catalyst for development in Scotland and the Basque Country, two lands of great importance for our company and for which we have major plans in the future," he said.
Scotland leads on new EU wind development
Yesterday, Scottish Energy Minister, Jim Mather, also announced a new Scottish-led EU partnership looking to increase onshore and offshore wind development.
The Good Practice Wind Project aims to help the EU achieve its 2020 carbon reduction targets by increasing consenting rates for on and offshore wind projects across Europe. Also included in the group's remit is the consideration of environmental issues in future wind projects. The partners come from eight countries within the EU including Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Malta and Italy.
"I'm delighted Scotland is leading the GP Wind Project with eight countries working together to develop the wind industry across Europe. Europe has enormous onshore wind potential and while the sector is advancing well in many countries, most of the huge economic potential remains untapped,” said Jim Mather during the Good Practice Wind Project launch in Glasgow.
For additional information:Gamesa