In the week before the general election on May 8, a “weel kent” and highly respected financial newspaper reported that our friends in Norway have earned more in the last quarter from their “oil fund” than the Norwegian government had actually spent. By any measure this is an astounding achievement and is testament to the Norwegian’s intelligent and strategic decision to set up the fund in the first place. Interestingly though, this event wasn’t to my knowledge reported elsewhere in the media and it certainly didn’t make it on to the mainstream television news. Perhaps though, that’s not surprising because, of course, although it may not be repeatable every quarter, it would have reflected very badly on all those unionist politicians who have worked so hard over the past few decades to deny Scotland the financial security that Norway has now so brilliantly achieved.
More than £460 million has been raised for the world’s first dedicated offshore wind fund to invest in wind farms off the UK’s coasts. The UK Green Investment Bank said £463 million in capital had been committed by investors including UK pension funds and a sovereign wealth fund in the first stage of fundraising for a planned £1 billion fund to invest in offshore wind farms. The Government-backed bank is also investing £200 million in the fund, which is managed by its subsidiary the UK Green Investment Bank Financial Services Ltd, and said that with fundraising continuing it expected to meet the £1 billion target. It has transferred its investments in two existing offshore wind farms into the fund, which will give investors an immediate cash yield.
An offshore wind project which could support up to 900 jobs and millions of pounds of investment has been given the go-ahead. The Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A and B wind project will include up to 400 wind turbines around 130 kilometre off the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire. With a maximum capacity of 2400MW it will generate enough electricity to power almost two million homes once built.
The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on a controversial windfarm on Shetland on Monday. Sustainable Shetland is fighting a decision by Scottish Ministers to approve the 103 turbine Viking windfarm. The long-running legal wrangle began when Sustainable Shetland brought a judicial review against the Scottish government’s decision in April 2012 to grant consent for the windfarm, which is jointly-owned by Shetland Charitable Trust, Scottish Southern Energy and four local businessmen.
The coalition’s industrial strategy is little more than “economic tinkering“ that will fail to tackle the trade deficit, according to a report. Vince Cable’s plans lack ambition and will not tackle the structural problems in Britain’s economy, think tank Civitas claimed. It accused the Business Secretary of setting objectives that are too easy to achieve and failing to address the problems that need to be solved to make Britain’s recovery export-led.
New UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon said yesterday the government was determined to break away from the revolving-door policy that has given the north-east 14 energy ministers in 16 years.
Westhill-based subsea firm ROVOP said it had made a strong start to 2013 by picking up £3.5million of contracts in January and expanding its management team.
There has been a lot of good news from the North Sea oil and gas industry over the last few weeks, notably the announcement of over £5billion investments in the Mariner and Western Isles oilfields.
Renewable-energy operator Vattenfall said yesterday it had invested £1million to join a programme to cut the cost of offshore windfarms.
An influential group of MSPs has dismissed Donald Trump's claims windfarms would do "tremendous damage" to Scotland's tourism industry.
Engineering firm ODE has picked up an 18-month project management and support services contract on a new German offshore wind farm.
An Orkney-based environmental consultant said yesterday it was eyeing expansion across the world.
Former SSE chief operating officer Colin Hood has been appointed chairman of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre by the Technology Strategy Board.
A series of meetings are being held to gather views about offshore renewable energy.
The Crown Estate said yesterday it had launched an "industry engagement exercise" aimed at shaping the future of leases for wave and tidal projects in the UK.
A "catapult" centre to push technology development in offshore renewables is expected to open this summer.
It is becoming increasingly clear there's a need for serious debate surrounding renewables policy.
Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed his vision of using the North Sea to drive a "second energy revolution".
First Minister Alex Salmond has confirmed that he will play no part in deciding whether a windfarm can be built off the north-east coast, near Donald Trump's golf resort.
Scotland will not have the skilled workforce it needs to meet renewable-energy targets for 2020 unless changes are made, education experts said yesterday.
The first tranche of students into a new industrial doctorate centre focusing on offshore renewable energy engineering started in January.
A new £50million centre aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of green technologies will be based in Glasgow, the UK Government announced yesterday.
Alex Salmond has claimed US property tycoon Donald Trump will finally come round and appreciate the benefits of renewable energy.
WHENEVER I see the words "jobs joy" in a headline, I skip the first six paragraphs in order to search for the nitty-gritty. Does the project exist or is it proposed? Therein sits a crucial world of difference.
NEXT year's All-Energy show in Aberdeen is shaping up to be another record-breaker.