Smith welcomes step forward for North Sea Energy Grid

The plan to connect Scottish electricity generation to European markets took a massive step forward today when it was approved by the European Parliament.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith welcomed the prioritisation of the Northern Seas Offshore Grid.

Speaking after the vote, Alyn said:

"Opening up the European energy markets to Scotland offers a huge continental opportunity for Scottish companies. We have energy in spades; we are at the leading edge of renewable technology and generation and the North Sea grid will make sure that we are able to export it.

"We've voted to cut the EU budget, of course, and that creates some difficulty and pushes it further away, but at least the North Sea Grid is at the top of the list and we know that Europe is concerned with completing the internal energy market so the grid will get extra impetus.

"While we might be at the edge of Europe geographically we are right at the heart of Europe when it comes to energy production. We are ideally located for practically every type of renewable energy and soon we will have the chance to take advantage of it thanks to the grid being prioritised.

"Scotland is energy-rich and other European nations are energy-hungry; we have a good match here which will be to the mutual benefit of everyone. The European Union will be delivering real benefits for Scotland just as we will be delivering electricity to the European Union."