A new report from Crown Estate Scotland (CES) spells out how Scotland’s ports and harbours can tap into the “huge potential” of offshore wind.
The document – Ports for offshore wind: A review of the net-zero opportunity for ports in Scotland – comes just months after the launch of this country’s first offshore wind leasing round for a decade.
ScotWind Leasing is expected to kick-start a new generation of offshore wind farms, and stimulate demand for new operations and maintenance facilities.
CES’s report highlights research by technical consultants Arup showing that while Scotland already has a strong and thriving ports sector, there are steps that could be taken to maximise its potential to host major offshore wind projects.
If applied successfully, these steps could make sure Scotland’s ports are “ideally placed” to support the major expansion of offshore wind in Scotland, and help the country take a major stride towards net zero carbon emissions, CES said.
Recommendations of the report include taking steps to increase port capacity that is suitable for large-scale offshore wind developments and establishing a national strategy for deciding how facilities are developed. CES also wants to see the development of new “optimal” operation and maintenance facilities which “open up the right opportunities for Scotland’s ports”.
CES marine director Colin Palmer said: “This is an important piece of work, which should act as a road map for both public and private sectors in Scotland to ensure our ports and offshore wind sectors collaborate effectively and maximise the potential that offshore wind can bring to communities.
“Scotland has fantastic port facilities, as well as some of the best offshore energy resources in the world.
“Making sure these two are successfully aligned can help us take a giant leap towards our net zero commitments, and help to build a green economic recovery for Scotland.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Scotland is already a world-leading destination for the development of low carbon energy and this study strengthens our status as a hub for global players.
“It also demonstrates the manufacturing and supply chain capabilities… that will help make a significant contribution to meeting our world-leading climate change targets and support the creation of green jobs.
“Encouraging cross-sectoral collaborations in areas like energy and transport exemplify the opportunities available through our ‘blue economy’ model.”