Scotland’s offshore wind sector would increase eight-fold under plans put forward by a new group – building enough capacity to power every household in Scotland twice over
The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council also aims to lead and support the industry, boost the local content of projects and increase jobs in line with the Sector Deal signed between industry and the UK Government in March 2019.
The Council is co-chaired by Scottish Government Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and Brian McFarlane, SSE Renewables head of projects, offshore development. Its membership also includes Scottish Renewables, Scottish Enterprise, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Crown Estate Scotland, Red Rock Power and the Energy Skills Partnership.
The Council’s vision includes an offshore wind sector which plays to Scotland’s strengths, delivering jobs, investment and export opportunities in line with the UK Sector Deal as a key part of the path to net-zero.
Scotland currently has around 1 GW of operational offshore wind, which would increase to 8 GW by 2030 under the Council’s goal.
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said “Offshore wind presents an enormous opportunity for Scotland, both in terms of its ability to help us decarbonise our energy system and in terms of its potential to generate economic value for Scotland.
“The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council has been created to ensure that all those involved are pulling together to deliver on bold plans to create a competitive, commercially attractive offshore wind sector in Scotland which can deliver both domestically and in the global offshore wind market, with opportunities to develop a globally competitive supply chain for fixed foundation and floating wind technologies.
“The broad nature of the group – including representatives from both the public and private sectors – and the skills and experience on which it can draw give Scotland the very best chance of success in offshore wind as these multi-billion pound renewable energy projects build out in Scottish waters.”
The Council has a number of goals. In addition to 8 GW of offshore wind in Scottish waters by 2030 it wants to develop a plan for offshore wind’s contribution to achieving Scotland’s climate change ambition of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and create a competitive offshore wind sector in Scotland which can deliver domestically and globally.
Other goals include developing a sustainable supply chain in Scotland and boosting the number of offshore wind jobs in Scotland to more than 6,000, an increase of 75% on 2019 figures.
The Council will work with two offshore wind clusters – DeepWind and Forth & Tay Offshore, set up as part of the Sector Deal signed by the UK Government and industry in March (2019) – to deliver the best conditions for local companies to both enter and develop in the offshore wind sector.