The Scottish offshore wind industry could be threatened by an investment hiatus after new figures show that major developers had more than halved their spending in Scotland.
The warning comes as a Scottish Government minister today (Tuesday 28 January) officially opens the flagship annual Offshore wind energy conference in Aberdeen.
Latest figures obtained by Scottish Renewables from offshore wind developers with projects in Scottish waters about their investments in Scotland during 2013 indicate that £28.9m was spent in 2013 compared to £63.6m in 2012. Total investment to date now stands at £193.4m.
Lindsay Leask, Senior Policy Manager, Scottish Renewables, said: “Uncertainty throughout the industry is growing as none of the major projects planned for Scottish waters have had their planning applications determined yet, and the details around accessing market incentives are still unclear.”
“With around 5 gigawatts of potential offshore wind development in planning – enough to meet the annual demand of 3 million homes – we can’t afford to see these projects, and the investment decisions related to them, left in limbo.
“Scotland has all the ingredients to develop a world leading offshore wind industry. Our exceptional wind resource and internationally renowned skill sets make these projects incredibly attractive and competitive propositions. This is evidenced by the level of investment that is still coming forward from committed developers in spite of the significant challenges facing the industry.
“Yet a reduction of some 55% in a year is cause for concern not only for the sector, but should also be a worrying sign for the Scottish and UK governments too. We’ll be working hard over the coming weeks with governments north and south of the border to ensure the developers gain the certainty they need to unlock further investment.”
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