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Scotland links wind to green economy

May 27, 2011 at 11:22 AM

ROSYTH, Scotland, May 27 (UPI) -- Scotland needs to look to offshore wind energy if it's to meet its goal of getting 100 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, a minister said.

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said Scotland aims to become the "green energy powerhouse of Europe" through its ambitious renewable energy objectives.

"I also think it's achievable," he said in an address at an energy conference in the coastal city of Rosyth. "A strong and vibrant offshore wind sector is at the heart of our vision to create new, low-carbon jobs and industries."

He said there were projects planned for wind energy off the coast of Scotland that would have nearly 10 gigawatts of installed capacity. That, he said, is more than what the country needs during peak demand.

"Yet there is capacity for so much more and we are now moving on to examine the further 25 offshore sites already identified for exploration in the medium term," he added.

The government in Edinburgh aims to invest roughly $490 million to develop the next generation of offshore wind turbines.

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