Scotland is uniquely positioned to capitalise from renewable energy. We are in a new era of energy generation, where finite fossil fuels must be joined and ultimately replaced by cleaner and greener sources of energy. We are also faced with the challenges presented by climate change and are ever aware of the consequences which the continued consumption of carbon based fuels may bring. The Scottish Government has taken firm steps to tackle this issue through the introduction of world leading emissions reductions targets. To achieve these, we must look to our dynamic marine environment and the significant contribution that its renewable energy resources can make.
Scotland is a leader in the development of renewable energy. There is enough wind, wave and tidal energy in our seas and around our coasts to meet our electricity demands several times over. In addition, our nation has a long history of engineering excellence and a commensurate track record in science and research. It is these strengths which will drive our green energy revolution and make Scotland a model nation in the transition to a low carbon economy. Our ports, manufacturing and research industries can benefit from the opportunities that new economic activities will provide. By continuing to develop renewable energy, we can power our homes, our businesses and promote sustainable economic growth.
Blue Seas - Green Energy - the Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters is our vision for the delivery of energy from offshore wind resources. The Plan contains proposals for offshore wind development at the regional level up to 2020 and beyond. It seeks to maximise the benefits for Scotland, our communities and our people and recognises the need for public acceptability in the development of offshore wind. It aims to strike a balance between economic, social and environmental needs and also recognises that there are national and regional challenges to overcome to facilitate development.
Our marine environment is perhaps our greatest natural asset. I believe that Blue Seas - Green Energy outlines the road ahead to deliver offshore wind energy in a prosperous and sustainable manner. Green energy, reduced emissions and the provision of jobs in new industries are just some of the benefits within our reach.
Richard Lochhead MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment