Offshore renewables investment map

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The Scottish Government’s commitment to renewable energy is already producing thousands of jobs across the country and will generate tens of thousands more, First Minister Alex Salmond said today as recent investment announcements in offshore wind, wave and tidal power were highlighted in a newly-published map. 

The map highlights much of the offshore green energy activity across Scotland, including recently-announced plans by international turbine manufacturers Mitsubishi, Gamesa, Samsung and 2-B Energy to develop next-generation offshore wind technology, as well as investments in marine energy technologies by major power engineering companies Alstom and ABB.

These international companies are combining with Scottish-based companies such as Scottish Power, SSE, Clyde Blowers, Global Energy Group and our pioneering technology developers to build a world-leading offshore renewables sector in Scotland.

Last week Japanese conglomerate Mitsui announced it had bought a 25 per cent stake in Global Energy in a partnership that will drive forward the renaissance of multi-sector energy engineering at Nigg Energy Park in the Highlands.

The First Minister said: “Scotland has around a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal energy resource and a tenth of its wave power potential.  Leases have already been granted to develop more than 11 GigaWatts of offshore wind, wave and tidal-energy generating capacity up to 2020 – by when, we aim to be producing 100 per cent of our domestic electricity needs from renewables, while continuing as a net exporter of power.

“Even before these offshore clean energy projects have been deployed, renewables contributed more than a third of Scotland’s electricity needs in 2011 and the sector supports more than 11,000 jobs – and tens of thousands of more jobs will be created.

“The map highlights many of the recent investment commitments and proposals announced in just one sector of our world-leading energy industry, which is helping to transform our economy and reindustrialise communities across Scotland. 

“In the same week as the European Wind Energy Association revealed that the wind sector’s contribution to the continent’s Gross Domestic Product grew by a third in three years – with a similar-sized rise in job numbers across Europe – one of our great power engineering companies, Global Energy, announced its partnership with Japan’s Mitsui. 

“Not only are Global Energy and other well-established Scottish engineering/fabrication firms such as BiFab, Steel Engineering and the Wood Group, working across various energy sectors, but working on projects beyond Scotland.  And earlier this month Sgurr Energy deployed its surveying technology for Hong Kong’s first offshore wind farm, while Glasgow-based Gaia Wind last week announced its latest international expansion plans. 

“At the same time, overseas companies such as Gamesa and Technip have chosen Scotland to locate European-wide functions.  So a key focus of Scotland’s energy future is not just on how we can best harness our own huge natural resources, but also how we are helping develop next-generation renewable technologies for a global market.”  

Related Information:

  • Renewables map
  • The map focuses on offshore renewables (wind, wave and tidal) and has been prepared for illustrative purposes.  It is not an exhaustive list of all investments in the sector, but is indicative of the level and spread of current and proposed activity announced for locations across Scotland.  Some of the investments have begun, with jobs already created, while other proposals are at an earlier stage of development. 
  • An industry study report published last month by Scottish Renewables identified that the renewables industry already supports more than 11,000 jobs across Scotland.  Plans to install up to 10 Gigawatts of offshore wind generating capacity in Scottish waters are predicted to generate around £30 billion of investment by 2020, while the sector has the potential to create up to 28,000 jobs and support a further 20,000 indirectly over the same period.
  • The emerging wave and tidal energy industry, where up to 1.6 GW of capacity is planned for the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, is predicted to create several thousand more renewables jobs.
  • Last year, Scotland produced a record amount of renewable electricity, amounting to more than a third of gross domestic consumption – exceeding the Scottish Government’s 2011 target of 31 per cent.  A further target is for renewables to deliver the equivalent of at least 100 per cent of gross electricity consumption by 2020, with Scotland remaining a net exporter of power.
  • Rises in wholesale gas prices have led to a sharp rise in household utility bills, and the Scottish Government is committed to reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels.  Recent analysis published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has shown that low carbon energy policies and measures could lead to an average household energy bill of £1,285 by 2020 – whereas ‘business as usual’ would result in bills of £1,379.