By a Newsnet reporter
A report to be published today by Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets will show that 26% of oil and gas companies operating in Scotland have already expanded into renewable energy, and that the figure is set to rise to 55% over the next five years.
The news will give a boost to employment prospects and the economy, especially in the North East.
Ed Wilson, head of renewable energy at Lloyds, said the skills developed in the construction and operation of offshore oil and gas rigs are transferable to the new offshore wind and marine energy industries.
Speaking to the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, Mr Wilson said: “Scotland is in many respects the perfect place for the oil and gas community to develop a niche within the renewables sector, as those looking for solutions are increasingly turning to those with experience for help.”
Welcoming the report, SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine Maureen Watt said:
“This is a very welcoming report that proves investment in Scotland’s renewables sector is strengthening day by day – and will do so no matter what the constitutional status.
“It also admonishes reports our renewable targets are not achievable. In the next five years, 55% of oil and gas firms are expected to invest in this sector.
“Already we have attracted £750million in the past year for renewables, with a further £46billion of proposed projects in the pipeline.”
The report is in contrast to views expressed by London based financial firm Citigroup who warned companies against investing in Scottish renewables because of the independence referendum.
However the report was subsequently discredited by a series of industry experts and business people including Altium Securities investment firm who called the Citigroup claims “alarmist”.
Ms Watt added:
“This report adds to the Altium Securities investor report which makes it clear investment will continue in all constitutional circumstances – including an independent Scotland.
“With Scotland currently producing some 40% of the UK’s renewable electricity, it is clear this country has a fundamental part to play.
“We are leading the way in the renewables sector and as long as the wind blows and the tide turns, that is the way it will stay.”