Scottish Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse, believes the north-east oil and gas sector can be an essential asset to the changing face of energy in Scotland.
In an interview with Energy Voice, Wheelhouse was keen to point out that he sees collaboration within Scotland’s energy sectors as the direct route to success.
Asked whether he thought Scotland was shedding its oil and gas skin in favour of renewable energy, he said: “that’s not the way I like to think about it”, adding, “we obviously want Scotland to play a major role in the international supply chain.
“In the oil and gas circuit Scotland is recognised as a centre of expertise, what I’d like to see is that we are cementing that reputation with a growing reputation that’s known for delivery and knowledge around renewable projects.
Wheelhouse believes that the best way forward for Scotland as an energy producing nation is through wider collaboration of skills and experience.
He said: “We’ve got a strong commitment as a country to deliver a sustainable energy future; I think oil and gas companies have a strong role to play in that transition. We’re seeing some examples, whether it’s supply chain companies, like East Coast Oil and Gas (EC-OG), and subsea, providing secure supplies of energy for subsea platforms, through to Statoil a Norwegian state owned company developing Hywind projects. There are good examples of these and the skills within the oil and gas industry to support renewables and vice versa.”
Wheelhouse went on to state that investment in Scotland by overseas companies, such as yesterday’s announcement by Irish renewables company ESB, evidences a “sign of confidence in our renewables sector” and that the Scottish Government “are continuing to meet investors who are very interested” in the marine energy sector, offshore fixed and floating wind.
Speaking about onshore wind in Scotland, the minister added that the country was “still very strong in” but that it needed to find the appropriate “route to market.”