By Renewable Energy Focus staff
Salmond said in the opening session: "Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. By then we intend to be generating twice as much electricity as Scotland needs – just over half of it from renewables, and just under half from other conventional sources.
“We will be exporting as much electricity as we consume. So we will continue to work with industry and governments at local, UK and European level to build on what we have achieved. We will now move still further and faster to secure our place as the green energy powerhouse of the continent of Europe.
"Offshore wind will play a key role in achieving our ambitions so I'm delighted to announce the launch today of Scotland's offshore wind portal: the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise have developed offshorewindscotland.org.uk – a single site showcasing what Scotland has to offer to both indigenous industry and new investors in this rapidly emerging sector."
He added: "Our research and development capability in low carbon energy is growing exponentially. For example, the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, a world-class testing facility and the first to be grid-connected, will be near full capacity over the coming months. And I am delighted that today at this conference EMEC will be signing a strategic agreement with the FORCE tidal test facility at Fundy in Nova Scotia. That pooling of resources and skills between Scotia Old and Scotia New should move this exciting sector even further forward as we approach the stage where large arrays become a reality. This can help unlock as much as £6 billion of investment, highlighted in a technical report published yesterday, to deliver the world's only commercially-leased wave and tidal projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters."