The north-east of Scotland is in prime position to be catapulted to the fore of the world’s fastest growing energy sector.
This was the message from Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Areg) to delegates at a major offshore-wind event in the Granite City yesterday.
Areg chairman Jeremy Cresswell said: “Offshore wind is in the vanguard of renewable and sustainable energy but we must act now if we are to seize a share of this market, which along with associated gridwork is estimated to be worth a potential £600billion over the next 20 years.
“Aberdeen city and shire has a major advantage in being able to capitalise on this massive opportunity because of the world-class offshore oil and gas supply chain in the area.
“Many such businesses are already becoming key players in the industry by diversifying that expertise, which is proving to be highly relevant and appropriate to the development of offshore renewables, especially wind.”
Mr Cresswell chaired the technology session at the Scottish Renewables annual offshore-wind conference, which was held in Aberdeen for the second year running.
Among Areg’s key projects to come under the spotlight were its plans to create a European offshore-wind deployment centre, off the coast of Aberdeen.
Areg renewables champion Iain Todd updated delegates on the plans, saying: “The offshore-wind deployment centre would act as a crucial catalyst to supporting Europe’s bold plans for offshore wind-power generation as well as assisting in the UK’s plan to deliver up to 25 gigawatts of new offshore wind capacity by 2020.
“There is also the real potential for vital research and development to be carried out at the centre, which would further consolidate Aberdeen’s position as a global energy leader.”
Mike Duncan, director of skills and workforce development at Opito, the Oil and Gas Academy, provided delegates at the conference with an overview of the challenges in creating a skilled workforce for this rapidly growing industry in Scotland.
He said: “The renewables industry is reportedly worth an estimated £42billion globally and doubling in size every three years.
“It offers significant potential opportunities for oil and gas companies and the UK workforce, however, securing the appropriate skills to underpin a renewable-energy revolution is vital.”