Scotland’s offshore wind developers have invested about £165million in projects around the country to date, industry figures show.
Scottish Renewables asked its members developing offshore wind projects in Scottish waters how much they had invested so far.
The total includes £65million invested in 2012 alone and represents the value all contracts awarded, with or without planning permission.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, whose Inverness and Nairn constituency is home to a growing number of the projects, said the figures underlined the growing importance of offshore wind.
He said: “It is an exciting emerging energy sector, still in its infancy but with potential to transform how we power modern economies while reducing harmful emissions from electricity generation.
“The Scottish Government has moved quickly to work with the energy industry and ensure local communities are equipped to seize the huge employment and investment opportunities ahead.”
Scottish Renewables, whose members work in all areas of the green-energy sector, says projects representing more than four gigawatts of potential installed capacity entered the planning system last year.
Its new report — Offshore Wind: Investing in Scotland — adds: “2012 really fired the starting gun for large-scale offshore wind development.”
Last night, Scottish Renewables’ senior policy manager for offshore projects, Lindsay Leask, said the recent investment underlined the confidence developers had in Scotland’s offshore wind sector.
She added: “Most of this . . . has been made in research, such as environmental and technical engineering surveys and project demonstration.”