German leaders urge Alex Salmond to commit to green energy

Alex Salmond used his speech to criticise welfare reforms. Picture: TSPL
Alex Salmond used his speech to criticise welfare reforms. Picture: TSPL
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ALEX Salmond was today urged to join Germany’s “Energiewende” revolution as he met political leaders in one of the country’s biggest states today.

• First Minister meeting with Lower Saxon President in Hanover

• Meeting follows announcement of 750 new Scots jobs at wind turbine company Areva

The First Minister proposed a partnership between Scotland and Lower Saxony as he met with the state’s President David McAllister and his cabinet in Hanover. It follows a similar visit to Scotland by Mr McAllister, who was born to a Scottish father and German mother in West Berlin and is being tipped as a future German Chancellor.

Germany is committed to an energy turnaround or transformation - an Energiewende - by moving away from fossil fuels and nuclear while still remaining a key industrial power.

President McAllister says both Lower Saxony and Scotland have a “common bond” which will continue to strengthen.

“Scotland and Lower Saxony have much in common especially when it comes to the ‘Energiewende’,” he said.

“We are both aiming at the same target of 100 per cent energy requirement provided by renewables.”

“The conversion to renewables is one of our biggest societal tasks and responsibilities. Nobody will be exempt from this development.

Mr Salmond later delivered a speech at Hanover University, an internationally respected technology powerhouse. He called for Scotland and Lower Saxony to propose a new financial approach to the creation of North Sea supergrid. This would make it easier for Scotland to transfer and sell its green power to the rest of Europe.

“In the years and decades ahead, green powerhouses like Lower Saxony and Scotland will help to provide secure and sustainable energy across Europe,” Mr Salmond said.

“As we develop new technologies, and export clean green energy to the rest of Europe, both Scotland and Lower Saxony will gain significant economic benefits. We have the potential to attract jobs by manufacturing, servicing and maintaining the turbines, rotors and machines which will power Europe and the world in the coming decades.

“Like Lower Saxony, we have a key role to play in supplying clean green energy to the rest of Europe. Like Lower Saxony, we are working to seize the environmental, economic and energy security benefits of renewable energy. And like Lower Saxony, we recognise the importance of international collaboration as we do so.”

Mr Salmond is undertaking a two-day trade business trip to France and Germany in an effort to attract inward investment. He was in Paris yesterday to hear windfarm giant Areva announce plans to create 750 jobs in Scotland making wind turbines.

The Scottish Government wants to generate the equivalent of all of Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources like wind, wave and hydro energy by 2020.