Brian Wilson, a former Scots Energy Minister, today calls for greater collaboration between Scotland and China on use of clean-coal technology to help meet growing global energy demand and to help reduce C02 emissions.
Labour MP Wilson was a UK government minister last century in the pre-devolution Scottish Office before the creation of the Scottish Parliament.
He said: “Ineos’ petro-chem and oil refining plant at Grangemouth is 50%-owned by the Chinese National Petroleum Company and China’s state-owned oil company, Sinopec, is a very substantial investor in the North Sea.
“While China is investing all over the world in order to safeguard its energy security, their main challenge at home – pollution of the atmosphere – is crying out for radical solutions.
“The Chinese have a target of 20% of all new-building being ‘green’ by 2015. That explains why (First Minister) Salmond’s business delegation to China will focus on construction and energy.
“In the energy sector, there is massive potential for co-operation (between Scotland and China) for potential co-operation in both renewables and nuclear. But the most urgent need is to develop cleaner ways of burning coal – because, one way or another – they’re going to burning it for a long time to come in China”.
A keen nuclear energy supporter, Wilson’s remarks in a local newspaper come on the eve of a Scots oil and gas trade mission, led by Alex Salmond, departing for Peking – as first reported yesterday in Scottish Energy News.