Scotland’s energy boon continues with £165m investment in offshore wind energy sector

New figures published by industry body, Scottish Renewables, has revealed for the first time that Scotland’s offshore wind farm developers have invested around £165m in the Scottish economy so far.

Scottish Renewables asked its members developing offshore wind projects in Scottish waters how much they had invested in the sector to date. The results showed that £164.5m of investment has been made with a significant proportion, £65m, being invested in 2012 alone.

The investment figure represents all contracts awarded by developers with Scottish companies in advance of any consents being awarded to their projects. 2012 really fired the starting gun for large scale offshore wind development in Scotland with projects representing more than  4GW (Gigawatts) of potential installed capacity, enough to power 3 million homes, entering the planning system.

Speaking ahead of the Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference in Aberdeen this week, Lindsay Leask, Senior Policy Manager for Offshore Renewables at Scottish Renewables, said:

“This level of investment, made in advance of their projects gaining consents, shows the considerable level of confidence developers have in Scotland’s offshore wind sector.

“Most of this current investment has been made in research, such as environmental surveys, technical engineering surveys and project demonstration. However, this flow of private finance is also generating huge opportunities for the supply chain, and once consents for projects are granted this will both motivate new entrants and strengthen those existing companies who are already reaping the benefit of diversifying into this emerging sector.”

The paper also features a map, provided by Scottish Enterprise, which illustrates a selection of announcements of intended investments in offshore wind.

“From major international companies such as Mitsubishi, Technip and Samsung looking to base themselves in Scotland to homegrown businesses including NGenTec, Wind Towers and BiFab readying themselves for this next chapter of renewable energy, the map gives a clear indication of how all corners of Scotland could benefit from the growth of offshore wind,” said Lindsay Leask.

Andy McDonald, Renewables Director at Scottish Enterprise said: “These latest figures underline the progress made to date in getting initial projects off the ground and creating opportunities for Scottish businesses entering the offshore wind supply chain. We and our partners have been working hard to create the optimum conditions for investors and Scottish business alike by developing the business environment and supporting the development of a strong supply chain.

“The business infrastructure and strength of the supply chain are critically important in helping building confidence for the longer term to ensure investment and employment levels grow further as this new industry becomes firmly established as a key sector driving economic growth and environmental gains for Scotland.”

The new figures are published in ‘Offshore Wind: Investing in Scotland’ ahead of Scotland’s largest offshore wind conference and exhibition which will be held in Aberdeen on Tues 29 and Wed 30 January 2013. This free event is an opportunity for delegates to learn of the key issues which are crucial to the industry’s success, including cost reduction, electricity market reform, international market opportunities for the supply chain and innovation.