Opportunities For Scots Sustainable Energy Experts
SNP MEP and member of the European Parliament's Energy Committee, Alyn Smith, has today (Monday) hailed a new EU initiative which aims to provide 500 million of the world's poorest people with access to sustainable energy by 2030.
The proposals include a new EU Technical Assistance Facility worth 50 million Euros to deploy expertise in the field; an opportunity for Scottish researchers and companies to share best practice.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso unveiled the EU commitment at the Sustainable Energy for All summit in Brussels, launched today by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
"Today's announcement means real opportunities for Scottish experts to develop world-leading, and world-saving technology as part of this EU initiative, as well as more green jobs created in Scotland.
"Scotland has a great story to tell when it comes to sustainable energy - the Scottish Government has strengthened its support for developing countries on climate change over the last two years with initiatives such as The Maldives Partnership, and international development funding for solar energy projects in rural communities in Malawi, run by Strathclyde University.
"The link between energy and development is fundamental, and as the largest provider of development assistance in the world, the EU plays a crucial role in efforts to end energy poverty around the globe. But now the EU is going even further - to provide sustainable energy for all by 2030.
"The number of people without access to electricity remains unacceptably high at 1.3 billion; around 20 per cent of the world's population. Better access to sustainable energy services is necessary for economic growth and for developing businesses. Homes, schools and health centres need adequate energy for lighting, communication, water supply and heating and cooling.
"Today's summit in Brussels comes at a crucial time at the beginning of the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All which will highlight energy access issues. The gathering will prepare for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June 2012 - where energy will be a key focus - and in helping to define the way forward for the EU's contribution to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative."