Wind energy – Scotland
A new report — commissioned by the Scottish government and offshore wind industry and led by Professor Sir Jim McDonald — sets out five recommendations aimed at transforming how Scottish companies secure work in offshore wind.
The recommendations in the independent Strategic Investment Assessment (SIA) report are: the offshore wind sector’s priority must be the establishment of a collaboration framework focused on building confidence among Scottish ports so that required investment is brought forward in time; support Scottish suppliers and get them ready to bid for and win work; celebrate and sell Scottish success; plan for future growth and the next generation of innovations; and plan for energy transition and a future of far-from-shore mixed-use energy projects.
The SIA recommends a focus on bringing the manufacture of floating offshore wind platforms to Scotland by creating a ‘Scottish Floating Offshore Wind Port Cluster’, with ports acting in partnership to provide the required infrastructure area and capability needed to attract manufacturers to use Scottish ports and invest in Scotland.
It also highlights a ‘low-regret option’ to invest in an additional 22 hectares of port capacity suitable for offshore wind platform fabrication that could deliver £1.5 billion in economic benefit to Scotland.
This initial investment could help underpin longer-term growth in port space, and further investment in port capacity could grow this to £4.5 billion. To help ports invest so they are ready to support projects coming out of the current ScotWind leasing round run by Crown Estate Scotland, a new partnership approach will be needed.
Industry needs to learn from sectors like oil and gas and develop a collaborative framework that can make explicit the expected industry needs. The Scottish and UK Governments need to help prime early investment to build world class port facilities.
Offshore wind is a major economic opportunity for Scotland. Scottish projects installed between now and 2027 may produce a total lifetime spend of £18.8 billion, resulting in an average of 1,900 direct jobs per year during construction and 1,100 jobs per year during 25-30 years of operations.
“The forthcoming ScotWind leasing round could create 5,000 jobs per year during construction and 2,800 jobs per year during 25-30 years of operations, with total Scottish jobs peaking at 6,000 in 2032/33.”