07 Jan 2010 10:01:08
Scottish power upgrade for renewable energy approved
A power line stretching across 220km of the Highlands has been approved by the Scottish minister for energy.
The controversial Beauly to Denny line is essential for harnessing up to half of Scotland's energy from renewable sources, according to minister Jim Mather.
He told Scottish parliament: "With a quarter of Europe's wind and tidal power resource and ten per cent of Europe's wave power Scotland has a massive renewable energy potential.
"The fact is that connecting and transporting Scotland's renewable energy is crucial to both the UK and the rest of Europe."
The minister reassured communities and interest groups that the impact of constructing the £4.7 billion project would be minimised as much as possible.
However, he stressed the macro-economic importance of the project to the country's future.
Mr Mather added that there were already 50 renewable energy projects scheduled that would be able to generate 4.2 gigawatts in the north of Scotland, which meets "two-thirds of peak Scottish demand". http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2010/01/06141510