A delegation from the North Sea Commission Innovation and Education Thematic Group paid a recent visit to Fife for a series of meetings and study visits to discuss energy, economic, education and sustainable developments’ issues.
Councillor Joe Rosiejak, chair of City of Dunfermline Committee, welcomed the group to Dunfermline City Chambers where their business meeting took place. The party comprised representatives of local and regional government bodies from Norway, Germany, Denmark and England as well as from other parts of Scotland.
Through engagement with the North Sea Commission, the group aims to establish and deliver work plans on innovative economic activity and research and development within the North Sea region. As part of the programme, the group made study visits to a few of the major renewable projects in Fife including the Whitlock Centre in Rosyth, the Fife Energy Park and the Hydrogen Office in Methil, and finally to Tullis Russell and the Biomass Plant in Markinch.
Depute Provost Councillor Ian Chisholm, Fife Council’s representative on the group, said: “I was very pleased with the interest the delegates from the North sea Commission showed in the way Fife has developed unique techniques in the renewable energy industry. As part of the raison d’être of the Innovation and Education group, I have been assured that lessons will be learnt from our work here in Fife”.
Leader of Fife Council, Councillor Peter Grant said: “For many of the delegates, this was a first visit to Fife and Scotland. We were delighted to showcase some of our successful initiatives in Renewables. For example, the innovative Hydrogen Office at the Energy Park Methil demonstrates and promotes the potential of storing surplus renewable energy as hydrogen, for a range of on-demand applications that require reliable, quiet, and very clean energy sources.
“Fife has also seen a number of biomass energy developments including the £200m combined heat and power system at the Tullis Russell papermaking plant in Markinch in partnership with RWE Npower Renewables.
“Renewables is a huge opportunity for Fife. Our colleges have invested heavily in their facilities so they are well placed to deliver training in the skills which will be required for offshore wind in particular. Carnegie College’s Whitlock Energy Collaboration Centre at Rosyth launched the UK’s first turbine service technician apprenticeship course last year.
“I believe that many of the delegates on this study trip will make a return to Fife, as it has much to offer in Innovation and Education in this emerging sector.”