A new partnership between government and industry aims to create a jobs boom in Scottish offshore wind production over the next 10 years.
It is hoped the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council, launched yesterday, can grow job numbers in the sector by 75% by building hundreds more turbines in the North Sea.
The ambition is to increase jobs in the industry to more than 6,000, from a current figure of around 1,900.
Helped by a string of huge projects currently looking for acreage off the north-east coast, the new council will try to grow Scotland’s operational offshore wind capacity from 1 gigawatt (GW) to 8GW – the equivalent of 5.2 million households – by 2030.
The council is co-chaired by Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse and SSE Renewables’ head of projects in offshore development Brian McFarlane.
Mr Wheelhouse said offshore wind had “enormous potential” to decarbonise the energy industry and “generate economic value” for Scotland.
He added: “The Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council has been created to ensure that all those involved are pulling together to deliver on bold plans to create a competitive, commercially-attractive offshore wind sector in Scotland which can deliver both domestically and in the global offshore wind market, with opportunities to develop a globally-competitive supply chain for fixed foundation and floating wind technologies.
“The broad nature of the group, including as it does representatives from both the public and private sectors, and the skills and experience on which it can draw give Scotland the very best chance of success in offshore wind as these multi-billion-pound renewable energy projects build out in our waters.”
Industry trade body Scottish Renewables said the new council’s ambitions were in line with those of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, unveiled in March, when UK Energy Minister Claire Perry pledged a £250 million investment.