OFFSHORE wind developers have invested around £165m in the Scottish economy so far, according to new figures published by Scottish Renewables.
The industry body asked its members developing offshore wind projects in Scottish waters how much they had invested in the sector to date and the results showed that £164.5m of investment has been made with a significant proportion (£65m) invested last year alone.
The figure contained in its publication ‘The Offshore Wind: Investing in Scotland’ represents all contracts awarded by developers with Scottish companies in advance of any consents being awarded to their projects.
The statistics prompted Scottish Renewables to say 2012 had “fired the starting gun” for large scale offshore wind development with projects representing more than 4GW of potential installed capacity entering the planning system.
“This level of investment, made in advance of their projects gaining consents, shows the considerable level of confidence developers have in Scotland’s offshore wind sector,” said Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager for offshore renewables.
“Most of this current investment has been made in research, such as environmental surveys, technical engineering surveys and project demonstration.
“However, this flow of private finance is also generating huge opportunities for the supply chain, and once consents for projects are granted this will both motivate new entrants and strengthen those existing companies who are already reaping the benefit of diversifying into this emerging sector.”
The document also features a map, provided by Scottish Enterprise, which illustrates a selection of announcements of intended investments in offshore wind.
The map gives a clear indication of how all corners of Scotland could benefit from the growth of offshore wind and includes major international companies such as Mitsubishi, Technip and Samsung and homegrown businesses like NGenTec, Wind Towers and BiFab.
“These latest figures underline the progress made to date in getting initial projects off the ground and creating opportunities for Scottish businesses entering the offshore wind supply chain,” added Andy McDonald of Scottish Enterprise.
Image – Private finance is generating huge opportunities for the supply chain.