Offshore wind development
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed the “truly historic” opportunity for Scotland’s net zero economy, as the winners of the ScotWind offshore wind leasing auction were announced by Crown Estate Scotland.
17 projects, with a combined potential generating capacity of 25GW, have been offered the rights to specific areas of the seabed for the development of offshore wind power - with developers giving commitments to invest in the Scottish supply chain, providing opportunities for high quality green jobs for decades to come.
The projects are expected to secure at least £1bn in supply chain investment for every 1GW of capacity proposed. They will also generate around £700 million in revenue for the Scottish Government and represent the world’s first commercial scale opportunity for floating offshore wind. As well as helping complete Scotland’s own journey to net zero, creating thousands of jobs in the process, our offshore wind resource also has the potential to position Scotland as a major exporter of renewable energy, including green hydrogen.
Commenting, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“The scale of opportunity here is truly historic. ScotWind puts Scotland at the forefront of the global development of offshore wind, represents a massive step forward in our transition to net zero, and will help deliver the supply chain investments and high quality jobs that will make the climate transition a fair one.
“It allows us to make huge progress in decarbonising our energy supply – vital if we are to reduce Scotland’s emissions – while securing investment in the Scottish supply chain of at least £1 billion for every gigawatt of power. This will be transformational. And because Scotland’s workers are superbly placed with transferable skills to capitalise on the transition to new energy sources, we have every reason to be optimistic about the number of jobs that can be created.
“That means, for example, that people working right now in the oil and gas sector in the North East of Scotland can be confident of opportunities for their future. The spread of projects across our waters promises economic benefits for communities the length and breadth of the country, ensuring Scotland benefits directly from the revolution in energy generation that is coming.
“The scale of opportunity represented in today’s announcement exceeds our current planning assumption of 10GW of offshore wind - which is a massive vote of confidence in Scotland. So we will now embark on the rigorous consenting process required to make sure we can maximise the potential that clearly exists in offshore wind while also ensuring that the impacts of large scale development – including on other marine users and the wider natural environment - are properly understood and addressed.
“While it is not yet possible to say with certainty what the scale of development will ultimately be, there is no doubt that the scale of this opportunity is transformational - both for our environment and the economy.”
The full details of the successful bids were announced by Crown Estate Scotland.