Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond is coming to Norway today to discuss ways of exploiting Scotland’s offshore wind potential and strengthen trade links.
Wind and power
He’ll begin his three-day trip by meeting heads of Statoil when he visits their offices in Stavanger and Oslo today and tomorrow.
The company’s Hywind floating wind turbine is currently undergoing the first full-scale test off the Norwegian coast. Mr Salmond will be engaging in preliminary discussions to bring it to Scottish waters.
“We’re now looking for a demopark, and Scotland is one of the countries we’re considering,” Øistein Johannessen, the company’s technology and new energy press spokesman tells The Foreigner.
There’ll also be talks between Hammerfest Strøm UK and Scottish Power Renewables about the next stage in the development of the most advanced tidal power unit in the world.
“Scotland's waters are estimated to have as much as a quarter of Europe's potential offshore wind and tidal energy resource and a tenth of the wave power capacity,” says Mr Salmond.
He adds Scotland needs to contribute to building a Europe-wide Supergrid, ensuring the future’s energy supply.
“Developing onshore and offshore grid connections will be a key driver of future growth and an opportunity for Scotland to become an exporter of clean, green energy.”
Investment and jobs
Also on the agenda are discussions with ministers about the management and operation of the Oil Fund (Government Pension Fund – Global)
“Norway has much in common with Scotland – we have a similar-sized population and are both rich in natural energy resources that have the capacity to deliver vast benefits to our citizens.
“The Scottish Government is working to strengthen economic links with this successful European country and shares its vision of having an Oil Fund that utilises the resources we have now, to leave a sustainable lasting legacy for future generations.
“Norway’s oil fund is worth over £300 billion and a similar scheme for Scotland would help secure billions of pounds for our communities. More than £240 billion of tax revenue has come directly from Scottish waters over the past 30 years and it is only fair that Scots should reap the rewards of our rich energy resources.
“Investing a portion of North Sea revenues in an oil fund could provide greater stability, protect the economy and support the creation of a low carbon economy. I am keen for Scotland to learn from Norway and to experience the benefits of investing a share of energy revenues into a fund that provides a permanent source of wealth for our nation,” he says.
Mr Salmond will also meet representatives from state-owned Statnett, Norway’s main grid operator, to discuss converting the country’s hydro-electric resources for deployment in Scottish waters.
“Scotland has long-standing links with Norway and we are keen to strengthen links with and learn from a successful European country with a similar-sized population which is also rich in natural resources,” he says.