Glasgow named as first Scots ‘Super City’ of green energy
Published by Simon Gwynn on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:10
Scotland's largest city is to create thousands of green energy jobs as the UK emerges from the downturn, a report has found.
Glasgow, which was once known as the second city of the Empire for its industrial strengths, is on course to repeat its success in the field of renewables.
It came after HSBC named it as the first industrial "super city" north of the Border thanks to its burgeoning base in research and engineering expertise.
The banking giant identified it along with Bristol as one of two new business powerhouse cities in its latest Future of Business report. It revealed the downturn is a catalyst for trailblazing green businesses and entrepreneurs.
Europe's biggest windfarm, the 140-turbine Whitelees in East Renfrewshire, and the 152-turbine Clyde windfarm near Glasgow, which began production this week, were cited as examples of successes. Other ventures include the Centre of Engineering Excellence in Renewable Energy, set up with Strathclyde University, that is co-ordinating a partnership between Scottish and Southern Energy and Mitsubishi to develop low-carbon energy sources.
Organisers of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have also pledged to make the event the most environmentally friendly in history. Other projects that won praise include Sustainable Glasgow, which aims to make the city one of the most green in Europe within a decade.
The report described Glasgow as a "leading international force in the renewable energy sector".
Jim Whyte, who was involved in the research for Future Laboratory, said: "Glasgow is using the opportunity of renewable energy to revitalise its traditional strength in engineering. The rise in offshore windfarms is fuelling growth already with more expected as countries across the world aim to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels. It is the city's research capabilities that will ensure its position at the forefront of developments."
Strathclyde University, previously Anderson's College, where the first electricity-generating wind turbine was created in 1885, has established its status as a leader in wind energy research.
Richard Bellingham of the university is also programme manager for Sustainable Glasgow. He said: "This report reflects Scotland's position as a world-leader in energy research that can make a real impact on society. At Strathclyde, we're proud to be home to academics leading the way in renewables and working side by side with colleagues in business and industry to find solutions to the challenges of climate change."
Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said: "Glasgow is renowned as a centre of excellence for its strengths in academia, manufacturing, innovation and engineering. It is a city with a lot to offer.
"There are renewables businesses such as SSE and ScottishPower firmly established in the city; technology developers and suppliers such as Steel Engineering, Gaia-Wind, Proven Energy and Nautricity, as well as international companies including Gamesa and Doosan Power Systems actively investing in and around Glasgow, which means hundreds of jobs in renewables with the potential for many more."
Simon Luby, associate director of Glasgow-based renewables consultancy, Sgurr Energy, added: "The renewable energy industry is eager to develop and expand its export potential over the next decade. At the moment, Glasgow is focused on intellectual exports, but we are starting to see early signs of a move towards more tangible exports too.
"The UK renewable energy industry has good technical and analytical skills, but currently there is a shortage of project management and construction skills."
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: "Glasgow's long tradition of engineering excellence continues into 21st century technologies. Glasgow is already attracting investment from renewables pioneers in offshore wind and Scottish Enterprise's new International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone aims to establish Glasgow as a top location for inward investment."