Over eight million homes to be powered by offshore wind under new plans

THE Scottish Government has announced its ambition to increase offshore wind capacity to power more than eight million homes by 2030.

The measures in the plans were agreed upon following an ‘extensive’ consultation with industry, stakeholders, coastal communities and environmental organisations. The increase of offshore wind capacity falls in line with the delivery of the country’s 2017 energy strategy and the decarbonisation of heat and transport.

As well as outlining the economic opportunities offshore wind presents, the Scottish Government also adopted a plan identifying suitable areas for commercial-scale offshore wind projects, which it said will inform the first seabed leasing process led by the newly devolved Crown Estate Scotland.

Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said, “This is a pivotal moment for the development of our offshore wind sector. Our seas are host to some of the best offshore wind resources in the world and our ambition to capitalise on our offshore wind generation capacity is part of the bold action we are taking to support economic recovery and become a net-zero society.

“The Scottish Government is determined to drive a green economic recovery with investment in renewable energy at the heart of it. We want to harness Scotland’s enviable wind resource for our energy system and unlock significant investment in the supply chain to create more green jobs across the sector. We expect that the inclusion of supply chain development statements as part of ScotWind leasing rounds, as well as anticipated reforms to the UK Government’s all-important contracts for difference process for awarding electricity supply contracts, will better support collaboration and innovation across the domestic supply chain.

“To ensure that developers have a clear framework to deliver the next round of offshore wind projects, we have also published a sectoral marine plan identifying areas that are appropriate for commercial-scale developments and providing a strategic springboard for achieving our aspirations for future development.

“The plan is based on extensive consultation and seeks to balance the vital importance of our marine environment and other key sectors with the huge ambition and opportunity we have for the offshore wind sector.”