A Scotland Office Minister has talked up the importance of Scottish manufacturing credentials during a visit to the world’s largest floating wind farm off Aberdeen.
Operated by Flotation Energy, Lord Malcolm Offord made the visit to the Kincardine floating wind site nine miles south of Aberdeen, joined by Energy Voice.
The Under Secretary of State said: “Being out here at the Kincardine wind farm brings into sharp focus the investment we’re putting into renewables and wind energy.
“Currently in the UK we have 10 gigawatts of energy coming from offshore wind and the government target by 2030 is to get that to 50 gigawatts.
“That’s a big ramp up in investment and a big commitment to the renewables agenda.”
When asked whether or not Scotland has the capacity to manufacture offshore wind projects domestically Minister Offord said: “Once again Scotland is at the forefront of the energy needs of the UK and is contributing more than 50% of the solution.
“I think the public has the right to ask ‘what benefit will Scotland get from that?’
“There’s no point in just selling off licences to overseas companies to bring in turbines made in China or the Middle East if we don’t actually end up with a supply chain in Scotland.
“So the point of me coming out here today was to see the scale of these things.
“The technology is Scottish, the Engineering is Scottish and the wind and wave is Scottish, we absolutely need to make sure that we get a supply chain that’s Scottish to make sure that we get jobs on the mainland in Scotland in the transition to net zero.
“I think that is the major objective that we all need to focus on in the immediate future.”
When it was pointed out to the minister that the floating wind farm he was visiting was built between Spanish, French and Danish companies and he was asked if Scotland can achieve creating an offshore wind supply chain he said: “Absolutely! And that to me when I come out here, I think to myself in a way that is a waste of our resources, we need to be able to do this in Scotland.
“We really need to get around the table and think about how we do this.
“We need to build a pipeline of projects and we need to nurture an industry in Scotland that can buildup over time and take advantage of the opportunities out here and right now from where I stand, we don’t have that capability and we have to build that capability.”
Alongside the visit to the floating wind site, Minister Offord addressed the windfall tax issue.
“We talked at the start of this interview about the target to get to net zero by 2030 and that’s absolutely crucial.
“The only way we do that is investing in these sorts of wind farms and a lot of that investment comes from the hydrocarbon companies.
“So whether or not you put a windfall tax on them is a debate we need to have but what’s absolutely crucial is we should not do anything to create a disincentive for these companies to reinvest their profits into renewables.
“Personally, I would like to see them, if they are making surplus profits, let’s ensure those profits are reinvested back into this [renewables] because this is the future and this is the long-term solution to getting energy costs down.”