Yes, Scotland’s offshore energy resource is without doubt one of the world’s best. Combine it with the almost immaterial–but vital–a sense of can-do, and the stage has always been built for something extraordinary.
With one device-Orbital Marine Power’s SR2000-our mare energy industry is already the world leader in generating more electricity in one year than the whole of the wave and mare industry in Scotland did before. This hasn’t always happened in the offshore wind–so far.
In the last 18 months, Scotland has become a crucible of offshore wind creativity, experience, and technology on the world stage.
After over a decade of preparation, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center in Aberdeen Bay has shown how some of the world’s most advanced technology, including its largest wind turbines, has just been installed a few kilometers from the beach in a city of 200,000.
But it was the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm in front of Caithness that sealed the deal: now, and soon, we’re moving. When it opened in July 2019, the wind farm was the fourth largest in the world. To Wick, one of Scotland’s economically most vulnerable counties, there have been nearly 100 full-time skilled jobs and their impact will be seen over the coming years.
Following that agreement, the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council has been formed to provide an offshore wind industry which plays an important role in the development of Scotland’s strengths, providing new employment, investment and export opportunities in compliance with the UK Sector Deal.
The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (WEC) launched this October (2019) to further explain the United Kingdom’s estimates with an eight-fold increase in offshore wind capacities in Scotland between 1GW and 8GW by 2030–more than twice the total power in Scotland of the current 5.2 million households.
Everyone involved in offshore winds can do more to ensure that Scotland maintains its fair share of the powerful economic impact of offshore winds. But the wheels are now on the move, via Scottish Renewables, the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council and the Sector Deal.
Continued close collaboration between government and industry can provide Scotland with an exciting future for offshore wind–and an exciting global future for Scotland.