Speaking at RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind 2023 conference at ExCeL in London this week, the Scottish Government’s minister for energy and the environment, Gillian Martin, discussed the economic and social opportunities offered by floating offshore wind.
“Scotland finds itself again at the epicentre of an energy revolution; the rapid expansion of offshore wind which we’re on the cusp of is often compared to the oil and gas boom of the 1980s and it’s arguably the greatest opportunity we’ve had since then. I say arguably because we have an opportunity to make the next energy wave more prosperous for the people of Scotland,” said Martin.
By 2022, Scotland had 60% of the world’s operational floating wind capacity and the nation’s impressive offshore wind portfolio has continued to grow throughout the past year as the country races towards its 11GW of offshore wind by 2030 target.
In April 2023, the renewable energy developer, SSE Renewables announced that its application for the UK’s “largest offshore wind farm” had commenced determination.
The 4.1GW Berwick bank wind farm will be situated 38km off the coast of East Lothian, Scotland.
This announcement followed ScottishPower formalising a £1.3 billion contract with Simens Gamesa for the East Anglia Three offshore wind farm. The engineering company revealed that this was its “biggest ever contract award.”
This momentum is showing no signs of slowing down as Martin highlighted that the latest ScotWind leasing round has the potential to deliver 28GW of new offshore wind capacity – 17GW of which will be floating wind.
“For energy security, for jobs, a just transition for oil and gas workers and achieving a net zero electricity system, we know that we need far more,” continued Martin.
“Crucially we cannot deliver our ambition for floating offshore wind without a supply chain that’s fit for purpose, so an early priority will be investment in ports and harbours. But the Government can’t foot the bill for everything that needs to be done. We need to work in partnership to attract investment into Scotland.”