Scotland’s renewables ambition

News editor

Anyone who thought EU renewable energy targets were tough would do well to look at Scotland’s ambitions.

The EU expects its members to generate 20 per cent of their energy needs from renewables by 2020.

Organisers of a conference taking place this week believe Scotland can generate the equivalent of 100 per cent of its annual electricity demand from renewables by 2020, with most of that supply coming from offshore wind over the next decade and beyond.

This, of course, opens up numerous business opportunities and the conference, taking place in Aberdeen, is expected to give attendees an idea of what they need to do in order to profit from offshore wind.

Offshore Wind & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition is a free event that takes place between January 31 and February 1.

The organisers say that there’s as much as 10GW of projects in the pipeline around Scotland and the potential for up to £7bn of additional investment that will bring 48,000 jobs to the country.

The conference will debate, discuss and define the way forward in the key decisions around Scotland’s energy mix, including: cutting costs and affordability, attracting capital and the impact of market reform, closing the supply chain gap, consenting projects and environmental sustainability, and connecting to the grid.

Speaking recently in the Scottish Sun newspaper, first minister Alex Salmond stated that his nation has a £1tn asset base in the shape of North Sea oil and gas. Energy rich indeed.

From self-sufficiency to altruism and news of a mentoring event from IET’s Women’s Network that takes place in London tomorrow.

Publicity material asks: what could mentoring do for you?

Rachel Tobbell, who manages the UKRC’s Services for Women Team, will help to answer that question via an interactive networking workshop will look at the benefits and challenges of being a mentor or a mentee and how to make most of a mentoring relationship – particularly in the context of supporting women in their careers.

A note now from the Royal Academy of Engineering and a reminder that the deadline looms for entries to the MacRobert Award.

According to RAE, the Award recognises the successful development of innovative ideas in engineering. It seeks to demonstrate the importance of engineering and the role of engineers and scientists in contributing to national prosperity and international prestige. Click here for more details.

Finally, word from McLaren and news that they are to launch their new car – the MP4-27 – for the 2012 season on February 1.

Speaking on the official F1 website, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said ‘The MP4-27 is a logical evolution of the MP4-26, adapted to the new technical regulations, and that from what we can discern its development is going in the right direction.’

Fingers crossed for the season curtain raiser in Melbourne on the weekend of March 16-18.