Euro Millions To Benefit Green Scotland

03 February 2009
Significant European funding will be heading to Scotland to support energy projects, with the possibility of EU funding for broadband infrastructure, as part of the EU's economic recovery plan.

The EU's £3.5 billion plan for 2009 and 2010 will support electricity and gas interconnections, offshore wind, and carbon capture and storage. These funds will be topped up by loans from the European Investment Bank.

It has been revealed that €150m will be invested in a North Sea offshore wind super grid; €40m Euros will be granted to the Aberdeen offshore wind farm (to generate an extra 100 MW of energy); and Longannet power plant will be included in the short list of coal-fired plants under consideration to receive €250m  of investment in Carbon Capture Storage
(CCS) technology. 1 billion Euros will also be made available across Europe to expand access to broadband technology.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith welcomed the investment:

"I'm delighted that EU measures to combat the economic downturn will have a real benefit for Scotland.

"With the Scottish Government revealing there could be 16,000 scottish jobs in green industries the news that Scottish energy projects will be boosted by Europe shows the central role Scotland plays in Europe's energy future.

"This new investment enables us to kill two birds with one stone: not only do we reflate our economy, but we can also build the energy infrastructure we need for our 21st century priorities: a high technology, highly skilled economy, and a cohesive, low carbon society which fights climate change.

"I'm particularly pleased by the opportunity to develop our offshore marine energy resources, in tandem with the Scottish Government's own efforts through our Marine Research Centre in Orkney.

"Scotland has 25% of Europe's wind and tidal power working with the EU to develop a North Sea grid to tap into these resources will ensure we can exploit their full potential.

"Europe's support for Carbon Capture and Storage in Scotland is well recognised.

"We have seen Scotland's chance to lead on CCS technology scuppered once by Westminster - this time I hope we will see all parties back Scotland's bid to lead the way. Longannet is ideally placed to be a leader in this emerging field.

"Scotland's small businesses and public services rely on quick and reliable internet access, and hopefully EU funding will help to speed up full coverage across Scotland."

The following links detail the economic recovery package and the projects it will fund;
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/142&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/eu-use-unspent-cash-clean-energy-broadband/article-178929