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Scotland touts renewable energy leadership

June 20, 2012 at 7:03 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, June 20 (UPI) -- With 25 percent of the offshore and tidal resources in Europe, Scotland is on pace to become the regional hub for renewables, the Scottish first minister said.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond addressed delegates at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco during a trade mission to the United States.

Scotland, he said, was making a significant contribution to the emerging renewable energy sector.

"We are ambitious for the future, both for ourselves and what we can contribute to the rest of the world," he said.

Scotland aims to derive 100 percent of its electricity demand through renewable energy projects by 2020. The government estimates it met 35 percent of its electricity demand last year through renewable energy resources.

All universities in Scotland have energy technology partnerships with third parties and Scotland this year signed a collaborative deal with the Masdar Energy Institute in Abu Dhabi. Glasgow, meanwhile, serves as a major research center for offshore wind energy generation.

"We possess 10 percent of Europe's wave power resources and 25 percent of its offshore wind and tidal resources -- all with only 1 percent of the EU population," Salmond said.

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