Scotland opens seabed for major investment in renewable energy

The first round of offshore wind leasing in Scottish waters for a decade will help form a major part of the country’s green recovery. 

The plan will open up offshore wind projects that have the potential to provide enough renewable energy to power every house in the country.

ScotWind Leasing will enable companies at the cutting edge of offshore renewables to apply to build Scotland’s new generation of offshore wind farms and help power the transition to a net zero future.

It’s anticipated that ScotWind will significantly increase the amount of power generated from offshore renewables.

This is a major step towards helping the Scottish Government’s achieve its target of Scotland being net zero by 2045. 

It is hoped that this will help Scotland achieve its target of going net zero by 2045. (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

John Robertson, Crown Estate Scotland’s Head of Energy & Infrastructure, said: “Today is a huge step forward in kick-starting Scotland’s green recovery, meeting net zero targets and bringing multi-billion pound investments to benefit communities across the nation.  

“Offshore wind is currently one of the cheapest forms of new electricity generation and Scotland is perfectly poised to host major new projects, with a well-established energy skills sector as well as some of the best natural marine resources in Europe.”  

It is predicted that total investment in ScotWind Leasing projects could potentially surpass £8 billion and that ScotWind could deliver more than enough green electricity to power every Scottish household.

It also added that this may mean that over 6 million tonnes of CO2 are saved per year.

Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said that it was a “very important” milestone and marks a “pivotal moment” for the development of Scotland’s offshore wind sector and is an opportunity to develop its economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He added: “As we emerge from the crisis, we have a chance to re-imagine the Scotland around us, and to begin building a greener, fairer and more equal society and economy, one in which wellbeing, fair work and social justice are prioritised. 

“Our seas are host to some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, supporting the continuing growth and expansion of the sector. We want to harness this huge resource for our energy system, unlocking significant investment in the supply chain to create more green jobs across the sector and, importantly, to do so in a way that gives due regard to our marine environment and other marine activities.  

As part of any lease application, developers will have to submit a Supply Chain Development Statement, outlining how they plan to engage with and utilise supply chain to successfully develop their projects.

Claire Mack, chief executive at Scottish Renewables, said the announcement provided a “blueprint for the further expansion of an industry which is creating economic and environmental benefits across Scotland and helping meet our emissions targets as we progress towards net zero”.

She added: “Government and industry must now work together to maximise offshore wind deployment, and the supply chain opportunities which come with it, by removing barriers, investing strategically and making the right decisions, at the right time, to ensure this exciting sector has the confidence it needs to thrive at a global scale in the coming decades.

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