Scotland the 'Silicon Valley' of marine energy

SNP leder Alex Salmond's keynote speech to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco describes how renewable resources will make Scotland the Silicon Valley of marine energy in the same way that hi-tech industries transformed Northern California.

“Scotland is a nation which has made a big contribution to the world in the past and has a huge amount to offer the world in the future. We are ambitious for the future, both for ourselves and what we can contribute to the rest of the world.

“I believe that developing the concentration of expertise, commitment and investment in marine energy that Scotland already possesses will make us the Silicon Valley of marine energy.

“That patch of Northern California that became known as Silicon Valley began by creating a community of technical scholars. Big business followed the skills and big rewards soon followed - and the same is happen in Scotland in our marine energy sector.

“All twelve of Scotland’s major universities have formed the Energy Technology Partnership, which earlier this year agreed a unique collaboration with Abu Dhabi’s prestigious Masdar Energy Institute.

“Glasgow is the premier centre in Europe for offshore wind research, with Strathclyde University’s £90 million Technology and Innovation Centre a hub for researchers and industry to work together on pioneering technology.

“There are more different types of wave and tidal devices in the waters around Scotland than in the rest of the world combined and the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters leasing area is the world’s largest commercial scale marine energy site.

“We possess 10 per cent of Europe’s wave power resources and 25 per cent of its offshore wind and tidal resources - all with only 1 per cent of the EU population.

“Scotland is becoming the Silicon Valley of marine energy worldwide. Having been at the heart of the marine engineering revolution of the 19th century, we are now placing ourselves at the heart of the marine engineering revolution of the 21st century.

“As hi-tech industries concentrated in Silicon Valley and transformed the economic landscape of Northern California, so marine energy will do for Scotland.”