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RENEWABLE ENERGY075

Below: Map showingoffshore energy projects;Robin Rigg offshore windfarm; the Pelamis WaveEnergy Converterprototype off OrkneyLast year in Scotland, that consensus saw all partiesacross the Parliament in Edinburgh, vote unanimouslyto pass a law committing us to world leading greenhousegas emission reduction targets - a 42 and 80 per centcut in emissions by 2020 and 2050 respectively.A large expansion of renewable power generation andthe advancement of carbon capture and storagetechnologies, together with much greater energyefficiency for fossil fuelled generation, is central toachieving these targets, supporting sustainableeconomic growth and advancing to a low-carbon future.We are clear on the need for a clean baseload usingtechnology to reduce carbon emissions, whilecontinuing to drive forward renewables. We have theknowledge and expertise in our universities andindustry and the infrastructure in the North Sea to takea global lead in clean coal and gas technology andbecome a hub for carbon capture and storage.Just as Scotland was blessed with North Sea oil andgas, nature has also provided us with an abundance ofpowerful elements, in particular water and wind whichare already powering hundreds of thousands of homesthroughout Scotland. Scotland's specific target for green electricitygeneration is to meet half our national demand fromrenewable sources by 2020. We are on track to meetour interim target of 31 per cent by 2011, but we knowthat there is much more to do to fully realise thepotential social, economic and environmental returns.Recognising that change starts at the grassroots. We are helping schools, community groups andbusinesses to utilise renewables, as well as energyefficiency, waste reduction and sustainable transport,through a climate challenge fund.We have also streamlined the planning process and aredetermining large renewable development applicationsmuch faster than previously. This includes an expansionof what is already Europe's largest onshore wind farm(just south of our largest city - Glasgow), which I waspleased to officially switch on in May last year.OFFSHORE WINDHowever, it is offshore where Scotland holds itsgreatest comparative advantage with huge naturalsources of clean, green energy that I consider us duty-bound to develop.Scottish waters are estimated to have up to a quarter ofEurope's offshore wind and tidal resource and a tenthof its potential wave power capacity.In the last 18 months plans for just over 11GW ofoffshore wind developments in Scottish waters havebeen announced -and these will help us meet our2020 renewable energy target.The potential of offshore wind is of equal scope and scale to North Sea oil and gas, bringing with it an estimated £30 billion worth of investment inScotland's economy over the next decade.Last year I opened the Scottish European GreenEnergy Centre (SEGEC), which is fostering researchcollaboration with the rest of the EU and helpingsecure significant funding for major projects ofstrategic importance to delivering Europe's greenenergy ambitions.MARINE ENERGYTogether with public and private sector partners, weare also investing in the nascent marine energyindustry, to help secure the commercial-scaledeployment of wave and tidal power generation overthe coming decade.076RENEWABLE ENERGY