|Caithness Community Web Site||Caithness.org News Index|
MAJOR RENEWABLES CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON JOBS AND INVESTMENT
The organisers of a major conference being held in Inverness later this week are keen to ensure that the area is quick to realise the potential for employment and inward investment of wind or wave-based renewable energy. "Renewable Opportunities" is the title of the conference, which aims to examine future renewable development and to alert local industry to its potential.
The Government recently agreed to increase substantially the level of electricity generated from renewable sources over the next 10 years and the Highlands and Islands is considered to be particularly well placed to benefit from this commitment. Jointly sponsored by The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the event is being held on Friday (23 November) at the Inverness Thistle Hotel.
A total of 230 delegates are expected to attend. Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Councils Sustainable Development Select Committee, who will be in the chair for the days discussions, said: "This is a hugely important area for the future of Highland, and it is vital that we benefit fully as this new technology develops. We need to look critically at proposals to ensure that local communities benefit directly, wherever possible, and that, in doing so, we protect Highlands precious landscape."
Dr Jim Hunter, Chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, who will be giving a keynote address at the conference, said: "Renewable energy offers tremendous opportunities for the Highlands and Islands, and is also one way that the area can make a positive contribution to the problem of global climate change."
To be opened by The Highland Council Convener, David Green, the
conference boasts a range of speakers, including those from The Scottish
Executive Energy Unit, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish and Southern
Electricity, who, as well being the largest generator of hydro-electric
power in the UK, are also responsible for the North's grid connections.
There will also be descriptions of a number of local practical schemes
that have already been established in the area. HIE and The Council will
both also make a contribution to the conference, describing the local
policy framework for future potential development and what work has
already been done to prepare
Industry representatives will also outline opportunities for wind and
wave power. The conference will conclude by hearing from Mrs Vickey Leaney
from the Wales-based Dulas Ltd. She has been actively involved in both
Welsh and English projects that have directly involved the community.
It is also planned to complement the conference by a detailed discussion on wood-fuel and the use of biomass as a source of energy at an early meeting of the Sustainable Development Select Committee