Scottish Crown Estate launches £50k study into economic benefit of UK offshore wind-ustry supply chain

A floating wind turbine at Buchan Deep, off Peterhead
A floating wind turbine at Buchan Deep, off Peterhead

The potential British economic benefits of more offshore floating wind projects is to be examined by the Scottish Crown Estate

It follows the world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, located off the north-east of Scotland, starting to generate electricity in October 2017.

Floating wind has significant global potential, enabling access to high wind resource in deep waters, compared to fixed wind which can often be too expensive to build in deeper waters where wind conditions are often better.

In particular, Scottish waters are deeper closer to shore, providing the ideal opportunity for expanding the offshore wind industry and taking a global lead in innovating with new technologies.

If Scotland can lead the way in development, companies involved at all stages will not only create more jobs – environmental specialists, engineers, maintenance workers – but may expand overseas too.

The £50,000 project will be overseen by a British steering-group including the British Crown Estate Renewable UK and the Offshore Wind Industry Council. It is expected to be finalised and published in summer 2018.

The floating wind industry is currently at an early stage of development – but may have significant potential for Scottish companies. There are currently a further three test and demonstration scale projects with planning consent and seabed rights from the Scottish Crown Estate.

Sian Wilson, a senior development manager at the Scottish Crown Estate, said, “We want to find out the scale of the economic benefits – jobs, supply chain and exports – from growing the Scottish floating wind industry.

“The results of this study will help UK government and others take policy decisions on how to support development.

“As the low carbon economy grows and the world needs more clean, green energy, there is potentially a great opportunity for Scotland and the wider UK in ensuring we make the most of our competitive advantage.”

Head of Insights Gavin Smart, who is leading the study for ORE Catapult said, “Innovations in turbine foundations and the development of floating wind technologies are key to opening up enormous new wind resources in expanses of water too deep for conventional farms anchored on the sea-bed.

“This, in turn, creates huge economic opportunities for Scottish companies to capitalise on this emerging market, both here in Scotland and through the export of skills and technologies globally.”

11 Jan 2018


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