Harvard economist urges Scots to support nuclear and shale gas

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SCOTTISH entrepreneurs should try to break into the shale gas and nuclear power markets as well as renewable energy, according to a professor from Harvard Business School.

Joe Lassiter will tell 600 delegates at the Clean Energy Entrepreneurship & Investment conference that shale gas and the third and fourth generations of nuclear power stations will bring “big changes” to the world’s energy markets.

Lassiter will tonight deliver the first “distinguished lecture” to Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group, the body set up by First Minister Alex Salmond and SSE chief executive Ian Marchant.

He will then take part in a panel discussion with Marchant, finance secretary John Swinney, former Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander and Lloyds Banking Group Scotland managing director Lady Susan Rice. Lassiter told The Scotsman: “Scotland has the engineering expertise built up over two centuries to take part in or even lead the renaissance in nuclear power.

“The next generation of nuclear power stations will be essential if the whole world is going to enjoy the standard of living the middle classes have in Europe and the United States.”

His comments were echoed by Ken Morse, one of US President Barack Obama’s economic advisers, who is also speaking at the conference, which has been organised by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

“Even if Scotland doesn’t build nuclear power stations here then it can still construct modules and other equipment that can be shipped out,” he said.

On Friday, Morse will join Iberdrola innovation director Agustín Delgado Martín and IBM guru Andy Stanford-Clark to deliver a workshop on “open innovation”.