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11 Aug 2008 05:08:18

Middle East could fund offshore grid

Middle East could fund offshore grid
An offshore energy grid capable of carrying 60GW of renewable energy could receive funding from two sovereign funds from the Middle East, according to the Independent.

Scottish Development International (SDI), an inward investment agency, has reportedly been courting the funds, one of which is from the United Arab Emirates, for two months.

EU rules require 20 percent of all energy to be generated via renewables by 2020. Paul O'Brien, SDI senior executive for renewable energy said the proposed grid would "accelerate the offshore wind, wave and tidal energy projects in Scotland".

The grid, which would stretch from the Orkneys to Norfolk would make it possible to exploit 60GW of "untapped potential" from offshore energy, added Mr O'Brien.

The 60GW figure represents almost double the current domestic energy consumption (33GW), and a significant portion of the total energy generated at the moment (75GW).

A licence for the grid would have to be issued by the Crown Estate, which owns the seabed, but it is thought that it will likely agree to the idea.

It has already awarded contracts for various offshore wind farms and carried out a feasibility study for an east coast grid, which revealed an estimated cost of £4.8 billion

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