The Scot-Govt has launched a new mapping exercise to help future development of the offshore floating wind sector around its coasts – which are home to potentially the EU’s biggest such renewable energy resource.
Marine Scotland will start plotting the map as part of an emerging strategic framework for the fledging industry – where Norwegian oil giant Statoil is using its Scots-based Hywind project as a guinea pig for subsequent global exploitation.
Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the aim of the joint industry project for floating wind was to ‘de-risk and speed up’ commercial development and deployment.
He said it would be “short-sighted and and self-defeating” if the sector failed to progress following its positive start at projects, such as Statoil and Masdar’s 30MW Hywind Scotland facility in the Buchan Deep.
Wheelhouse also called on the UK government to support the floating sector “right now” and argued for it to be included in a proposed 10GW of new generation planned around the UK in the 2020s.
The Scot-Govt continues to pour taxpayers’ money into a state-owned wave-power quango which many renewable energy observers consider to be a bottomless pit for surface-based wave-energy turbines adrift in what a recent expert report from Strathclyde University described as a sea of ‘over promising and under-delivering’.
Meanwhile beneath the waves – in the much more friendly subsea environment – Edinburgh-based Nova Innovation (pictured, above) has been hailed as a tidal energy ‘game changer’ by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
Nova Innovation – chaired by Ian Marchant, serial energy entrepreneur and former chief executive of SSE – has developed and installed the world’s first grid-connected offshore tidal array in Bluemull Sound in Shetland, which is on course to demonstrate that tidal energy costs can be drastically reduced, becoming cost competitive with other forms of renewable energy generation.
15 Nov 2017