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Renewable energy MoU signed between Scotland and France

IN a new agreement for the ‘auld alliance’ a low-carbon collaboration between Scotland and France is to be strengthened further after a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The MoU was signed between Scotland’s floating wind cluster DeepWind and Wind’Occ, the regional offshore collaborative in the Region Occitanie.

The MoU between the two organisations will see both parties collaborate on floating-offshore wind and hydrogen supply chain development in Scotland, Region Occitanie and internationally.

MoU Signing Photo.
From left to right Ivan McKee, Trade Minister, Scottish Government, Marie-Laure Barois, Co-Founder, Wind’Occ, Jalil Benabdillah, Vice-President of Occitanie with responsibility for Economy, Employment, Innovation and Reindustrialisation, and Paul O’Brien, DeepWind Cluster Manager.

As part of the partnership, both clusters have agreed to champion floating offshore wind in their respective countries as well as jointly when the opportunity arises by:

  • Encouraging and facilitating the exchange of knowledge between their members.
  • Promoting business opportunities for their members through ‘meet the buyer’ industry events.
  • Facilitating the emergence of a local floating wind and hydrogen industry by identifying complimentary capabilities.
  • Promoting R&D opportunities at a local and European level.

The agreement was signed today (Tuesday May 17) at an MoU ceremony at the floating offshore wind turbines (FOWT) 2022 event, the annual meeting of the floating offshore wind sector community in Montpellier.

It was witnessed by Scottish Government Trade Minister Ivan McKee, who is in France on a two-day visit focusing on enhancing trade and investment links between the two countries.

Mr McKee said: “Development of offshore wind, the hydrogen economy and a strong and innovative supply chain are key to Scotland’s transition to net zero and will support our green economic recovery.

“This agreement is a great example of two organisations constructively working together to further mutual economic interests that are also shared by the Scottish Government. 

“As set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, we want to be a dynamic and innovative country, where we can attract international investment in research and the industries of, which will help us reach our climate targets.”

The DeepWind supply chain cluster is now the largest offshore wind representative body in Scotland with more than 700 members drawn from industry, academia, and the public sector.

The cluster specialises in fixed and floating offshore wind in deeper waters.

Paul O’Brien, DeepWind Cluster Manager said: “DeepWind welcomes the opportunity that this cooperation agreement with Wind’Occ opens up between Scotland and France to work towards a common goal in the areas of floating wind and hydrogen generation.

“The marriage of these two technologies will be one of the major decarbonisation routes for Europe and this MoU strengthens the already strong ties between the members of both clusters.”

Wind’Occ promotes the floating offshore wind industry in the Occitanie region of southern France. 

The organisation brings together companies, academics and local clusters (Cemater, Pole Mer Mediterranée) to support local offshore wind activities taking place, working closely with its regional economic development agency, AD’OCC.

Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie/ Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region, said: “Today, floating offshore wind energy is a sector with great potential, both in terms of energy and trade.

“France, like Scotland, is strongly committed to the development of floating offshore wind energy with 50 GW announced for 2050.

“In Occitania, we have been working for several years now to develop this sector of the future.

“It is currently a major axis of industrial development in our region and one of the essential means to increase the share of renewable energies in our over energy production.

“The partnership signed today between the Wind’Occ and DeepWind clusters will strengthen the collaboration between our respective sectors and will contribute to their joint development.

“It will also be an additional asset to ensure greater visibility of our wind industry on a European and international scale, which is essential to guarantee the sustainability and development of the sector.”

Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee
Minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise Ivan McKee is given a tour of the factories 74,000 ft2 manufacturing space by David Beal MD of the Beal group. The group has had a 4 million pound injection of funding in part from Scottish Enterprise.

The minister’s trip to France also includes meetings with French businesses with strategic interests in Scotland, regional institutions, and members of the GlobalScot network.

The visit was arranged by Scottish Development International’s team of trade and investment specialists based in France, along with the Scottish Government Hub in Paris and VisitScotland.

Scottish Development International (SDI) is the international arm of Scottish Enterprise, promoting Scotland as an ideal business location and supporting trade opportunities for Scottish firms in target markets across the world.

David Decrock, Country Director France at SDI, said: “France is Scotland’s second largest market for both global exports and inward investment, behind the United States, so it is an important strategic location for Scotland’s economy.

“SDI’s role is to make sure that we create the conditions to allow even greater cooperation between our respective companies, developing economic opportunities in the process.

“We are delighted that Mr McKee is visiting France to promote trade and investment links between Scotland and France and we look forward to building upon the strong commercial partnership the countries already share.”

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