Scotland tries hand at energy diplomacy

Nov. 2, 2012 at 8:49 AM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The Scottish government announced it was working with officials in Malawi and India to help develop their national energy sectors.

Scottish energy services company Wood Group announced it was opening an engineering hub in India through a $1.2 million investment.

Fiona Hyslop, Scottish external affairs secretary, said the investment would strengthen business ties to one of Asia's leading economies.

"There is enormous demand for energy across India, which coupled with its government's ambition to reduce its reliance on oil and gas imports, presents significant opportunity for Scotland to export our knowledge and expertise," she said in a statement.

The Scottish government said it was deploying specialists to assist with Malawi's efforts to address climate issues and develop a renewable energy sector.

Scotland has one of the most ambitious renewable energy strategies, striving to get 100 percent of its electricity needs through renewable energy projects by 2020.

Scottish Education Secretary Michael Russell said 93 percent of the population in Malawi doesn't have access to electricity.

"Through this initiative Scotland will help Malawi extend access to electricity across the nation in a sustainable way that does not add to carbon emissions and protects against fluctuations in the cost of fossil fuels," he said in a statement.

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