Scottish offshore wind worth £7.1bn

If including indirect jobs, the figure could reach 48,000 according to the report Scottish Offshore Wind: Creating an Industry.

Offshore wind nfrastructure nearly there

Scotland already has parts of the supply chain in place with cable laying and subsea structures companies already supplying the offshore wind industry.

However to reach the potential of 1.3-10.6 GW offshore wind, strategic investments in grid, port facilities and skills must be made.

Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, says: “We already have significant employment in the sector through companies like BiFab and Subocean, but this report confirms that the industry could become one of the country’s major employers over the next decade.

“However, it’s also clear that none of this can be taken for granted. Other parts of the UK and ports all over Europe are all fighting tooth and nail to secure investment and the economic benefits that offshore manufacturing and associated activity will bring.

“While Scotland has fantastic resources and facilities, if we are to attract major inward investors and growth the supply chain, we need to develop key ports and manufacturing facilities, as well as securing necessary grid connections and upgrades. And if we are to grow employment to these levels over the next 10 years, we need schools, colleges and universities to focus on delivering the skills that this new industry requires.

“With construction of the next generation of offshore wind expected to begin in the middle of the decade, we don’t have time to waste,” she adds.

10.6 GW offshore wind already allocated

Scotland’s Energy Minister Jim Mather, comments: “Progress is already underway on offshore wind development around Scotland with 11 sites having secured ‘exclusivity agreements’ with The Crown Estate to deliver a total capacity of 10.6 GW over the next decade.

“Unlocking the potential of offshore wind requires investment from both the private and public sector. This report underlines the case for early investment and therefore it’s now urgent for the Treasury to release Scotland’s £185 million Fossil Fuel Levy to further develop the renewables industry.

“It is also essential that the Westminster Government delivers a level playing field when it comes to the cost of supplying energy to the grid – that means ending the system whereby punitive charges are imposed on energy suppliers in Scotland, while those in other parts of the UK are paid subsidies,” he concludes.