New Scottish alliance targets 8GW of offshore wind

The newly established Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council also aims to boost the local content of projects and increase the number of jobs

A new partnership has been launched between the Scottish Government and the offshore wind industry with the aim of reaching 8GW of installed capacity by 2030.

The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council has set out the ambitious plan, which includes boosting the local content of projects and increasing jobs in line with the Sector Deal signed between industry and the UK Government earlier this year.

The Council is co-chaired by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and Brian McFarlane, Head of Projects for Offshore Development at SSE Renewables.

Its members also include Crown Estate Scotland, Energy Skills Partnership, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Red Rock Power, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Renewables.

Scotland currently has around 1GW of operational offshore wind and an additional 7GW of capacity would generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 5.2 million homes – more than double the number in Scotland.

The Council is also committing to develop a plan for offshore wind’s contribution to achieving Scotland’s ambition of net zero emissions by 2045 and boosting the number of offshore wind jobs in the country to more than 6,000 – an increase of 75% on 2019 figures.

It will work with two offshore wind clusters – DeepWind and Forth & Tay Offshore – which were set up as part of the Sector Deal, to deliver the best conditions for local companies to both enter and develop in the offshore wind sector.

Mr Wheelhouse 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 as it does 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.”

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