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Scotland Eyes 8 GW of Offshore Wind by 2030

In Scotland, industry and government have joined forces to form the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council. The aim is to octuplicate the share of offshore wind energy within ten years.

Image: PixabayImage: Pixabay

Bold plans from the far north: The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council, founded on Tuesday, has set itself the goal of supporting the offshore wind industry in order to increase the local share of projects and create more jobs. To this end, the capacity of offshore wind energy in Scotland is to be increased from currently 1 gigawatt to 8 gigawatt in 2030. This means that every Scottish household could be supplied with twice the amount of green electricity it needs from the sea.

In the Council, political representatives such as Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, as well as authorities, the association and industry have joined forces. On the basis of the so-called UK Sector Deal from March this year, Scotland wants to exploit its large offshore potential to a greater extent and consistently promote the production of green electricity at sea. With the currently targeted 8 GW, 5.2 million households could be supplied, more than twice as many as there are currently in Scotland. The excess electricity produced could be marketed throughout Europe with underwater pipelines.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse therefore underlines the economic importance that the expansion would bring: "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 prospects for success for this project are currently very good, regardless of a Brexit and any subsequent uncertainties. The country already has 1 gigawatt of installed offshore wind capacity. Scotland can also point to the first commercially operated floating offshore wind farm (Hywind) in technological terms. There's still enormous potential slumbering in the floating technology sector in particular, as many other regions around the world can benefit from offshore wind by opening up to even greater water depths.

Being one of the technological pioneers should bring more jobs to the country. The plans currently assume an increase of 75 percent to 6,000 people in the next ten years. Ambitious plans that would also look good in other countries.

Energy company SSE installing a offshore wind farm (Image: SSE)

At the same time, it would bring Scotland a decisive step closer to its climate change targets - net zero emissions of harmful CO2 by 2045. "The Council’s goals are aligned around the need to capture Scotland’s offshore renewable energy resource in a way which delivers maximum economic and environmental advantage," said Brian McFarlane, who manages offshore wind operations for Scottish energy company SSE. "Offshore wind will play a key role in our efforts to tackle the climate emergency and achieve Scotland’s ambitious net-zero emissions target, and the members of the Council are committed to ensuring that Scotland makes the most of this most innovative of technologies as we seek to further decarbonise our energy system."

Ambitious goals hopefully serving as an example for many other countries.

Katrin Radtke
Scotland, offshore, wind energy, Council, government, industry, jobs, supply chain, technology, floating, Hywind, wind farm

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