Monday, 8 February 2010

French urged to surf marine energy wave

Published Date: 08 February 2010
By Lucy Collins
THE First Minister will outline opportunities for French firms to invest in Scotland's renewable energy industry today.
Alex Salmond is in Paris to hold roundtable discussions with firms working in subsea and marine renewables, including the French energy firm EDF, Total and Veolia.He will also outline the details of the Scottish Government's £10 million Saltire Prize challenge, which rewards firms that can create commercially viable wave or tidal energy technology.The Scottish Government has a target to provide 50 per cent of electricity demand from renewables by 2020. Scotland's renewable energy is said to be capable of providing up to 25 per cent of Europe's tidal power and 10 per cent of its wave power.Mr Salmond said: "Scotland's Auld Alliance with France represents a strong, enduring bond between these two historic nations. France is Scotland's third largest export destination, worth an estimated £1.5 billion to our economy. More Scotch whisky is sold in France than in any other country."Alongside multi-million-pound food and drink exports, Scotland has strong sales across manufacturing, engineering and financial services."At the same time, French companies continue to invest in key Scottish sectors such as financial services and energy."This is a very important opportunity for the Scottish Government, working with Scottish Development International, to further strengthen our relationships with leading French companies." The First Minister will also meet the Minister for Europe, Pierre Lellouche, to discuss cultural and educational links between Scotland and France, and attend the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's concert at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees.