The Scottish government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French region of Brittany relating to the offshore renewables industry.
The cooperation agreement aims to strengthen Scotland’s position as a “leader” in Europe’s offshore renewables industry, the government said.
The MoU, which is the first of its kind for Scotland with a region in France, will provide Scottish companies with opportunities to share best practices on the expansion of offshore wind projects off the coast of Brittany.
The Scottish government said the MoU will also instigate a programme of actions that will cover institutional relations, culture and heritage, education and research, fisheries and diaspora.
Attending the first ever Celtic Forum today in Brittany, Deputy First Minister Shona Robinson said: “Scotland is working with our partners in Europe and this MoU…will help us collaborate across a range of topics.
“The people of Scotland resoundingly rejected Brexit, yet it has caused significant adverse impacts to our economy and trade relations.
“In spite of this, the Scottish government remains firmly committed to developing partnerships with our European neighbours.”
Robinson said the Scottish government is keen to maximise opportunities for Scottish companies to learn from their “Celtic partners” as the country looks towards a future with cleaner and greener energy.
“Scotland’s rich renewables endowment means we can not only generate enough cheap green electricity to power Scotland’s economy, but can also export electricity to our neighbours, supporting jobs here in Scotland and the decarbonisation ambitions of our partners,” she said.
Businesses development director of offshore energy company Swift Anchors, Michael Hook, said the company is keen to capitalise on the opportunities it expects to see from the deployment of floating offshore wind in Brittany waters.
“We applaud the steps being taken by the Scottish government and Brittany’s regional government to establish closer economic and cultural ties,” he said.
“With the help of Scottish Development International, we have established good links within Brittany following a series of joint initiatives including Swift Anchors’ attendance at the Bretagne Ocean Power event in Rennes earlier this year, where the quality of engagement and depth of interest in our anchoring solutions and potential collaboration were evident.
“Today’s agreement between the two governments gives us further encouragement to our business efforts in Brittany.”