Scotland to support Maldivian green power

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond will sign a joint statement of cooperation with President Mohamed Nasheed at Copenhagen, pledging Scottish knowledge and support for the development of green power in the Maldives.

Speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh, Salmond said Scotland would work together with the Maldives “to transfer knowledge about the capacity building needed to respond to the huge challenges posed by the climate change around us. We are delighted to help the Maldives in their endeavour to become the world’s first carbon neutral country.

“What is clear is that the industrialised nations must agree to targets that are both meaningful and binding. Anything short of that risks failing not just their own citizens, but those of the many developing nations most exposed to the destructive impact of climate change,” he added.

Glasgow-based Maldives Envoy for Science and Technology, Ahmed Moosa, said as a Scottish-trained engineer himself, he believed Scotland could play “a big part” in the development of renewable energy the Maldives, beginning with joint discussions in Copenhagen. “I think this is the start of something very special,” he added.

More than 30 per cent of Scotland’s energy will be provided by renewable energy sources by 2011, Salmond claimed, with the figure rising to half by 2020 – a key element of the country’s ambitious emission reduction target of 42 per cent by the same year.

Much of that will be produced by onshore wind farms. Scotland already has Europe’s largest onshore wind farm at Whitelee in Eaglesham Moor, which will soon be expanded to 593 megawatts allowing it power over a quarter of a million homes.

“Mr Moosa informed me that a wind farm of the same capacity could supply power to every house in the Maldives’ 1200 islands,” Salmond said, “although I think the transport lines might be a wee bit complex.”

The Maldives recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Swedish company Madsen Consulting, which will carry out a feasability study for establishing a wind farm in the Northern Province. The single 75w turbine will be installed in Lhaviyani atoll Hinnavaru early next year.