Scotland leading the way on offshore wind
Scotland is leading the way in driving down the costs of offshore wind, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has told major industry conference.
Scotland has a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind capacity and planned offshore wind projects in the country have the potential to produce up to 10GW of electricity by 2020.
Speaking at the Global Offshore Wind conference in London, Mr Ewing welcomed two pieces of research into cutting the cost of Offshore Wind – but told delegates that Scotland is already ahead of its UK counterparts in taking the actions recommended in the research.
The Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force today published their first research, alongside The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Pathways study.
The Tast Force report outlines the steps the industry can take to slash the costs of offshore wind energy from 140 pounds per megawatt hour to 100 pounds per megawatt hour by 2020, but Scotland is already undertaking many of the actions suggested in the two reports.
Work done to improve the Scottish supply chain and infrastructure, set out in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan and supported through the 70 million poundsNational Renewables Infrastructure Plan has already attracted international investment from companies such as Samsung, Gamesa, Mitsubishi, Repsol, EDPR and Vattenfall.
Scotland also leads the world in the innovation needed to further drive down costs, with the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre based in Glasgow.
The Scottish Government has taken action to increase the confidence of offshore wind developers in the planning and consenting system, publishing “Blue Seas Green Energy”, a plan for offshore wind in Scottish Territorial Waters, and streamlining the consenting process for offshore renewables.
And work is being done by Scottish Government Agencies Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to source potential testing sites.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:
“I welcome these two pieces of research, especially as they confirm what we have long known – that Scotland leads the world in offshore wind. As a country we have enormous potential for offshore wind, with a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind capacity.
“We have already attracted major international investment from companies who are working to realise that potential, and planned offshore wind projects in Scotland are set to produce up to 10GW of electricity by 2020.
“Offshore wind could reindustrialise Scotland, building on the skills and experience we have gained from the Oil and Gas industry to create new, high quality jobs for our workforce.
“But if we are to fully enjoy the benefits of offshore wind, we need to further drive down the costs.
“And in this area too, Scotland is leading the world, with work already taking place to insure we have the innovative ideas necessary to cut costs, as well as improving the infrastructure and streamlining our planning system.
“In Scotland, not only do we have world-beating potential, we also have the vision, the skills, the resources and the determination necessary to make that potential a reality.”