Scotland has signed an international agreement with the Normandy region in France to foster closer co-operation between the two countries in the marine energy sector.
The agreement was signed by Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing and Laurent Beauvais, President of the Lower Normandy region, in Edinburgh as part of the European Ocean Energy Conference – the first time this event has ever taken place outside of Brussels.
The European Ocean Energy Association (EU OEA), is a European lobby working to create a framework and market for marine energy.
Scotland is currently a global leader in the development of wave and tidal energy, which is estimated could be worth up to £1billion to the Scottish economy by 2020.
The strategic agreement will increase the opportunity for Scottish companies to be involved in the supply chain of future tidal energy projects in Normandy and will facilitate energy projects between universities in Scotland and France.
Jean‑François Le Grand, President of the Manche General Council, and André Rouxel, President of the Cherbourg Urban Community, were also part of the official signing ceremony held at Holyrood.
Ewing said: “This co-operation agreement will increase the opportunity for Scottish companies to be involved in the supply chain of future tidal energy projects in Normandy.
“It represents a genuine opportunity for greater partnership working with a French region which has a real interest in promoting tidal energy not only within its own region, but across Europe and on the international stage.”
Anne MacColl, Chief Executive, Scottish Development International – which helped organise the Ocean Energy Association (OEA) summit in Edinburgh – added: “With more wave and tidal devices being tested in Scottish waters than anywhere else in the world, marine energy has significant potential for Scotland’s economy.”
Speakers at the Ocean Energy Association ‘round-table’ and corporate ‘speed-dating’ sessions held as part of the summit included:
- Lowri Evans, EU Director General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
- Patrick Boissier, Chairman, DCNS
- Jacques Jamart, Senior Vice President of New Energies at Alstom
- William Gillett, Head of Renewable Energy, Intelligent Energy Europe, EACI
- Neil Kermode, Managing Director, Europe Marine Energy Centre
- Francois Piquet – Managing Director, West Normandy Marine Energy
- Richard Yemm – Chief Executive Officer, Pelamis Wave Power
- Martin McAdam – Chief Executive Officer, Aquamarine Power
- Steve Wyatt – Director of Innovation, Carbon Trust