Economy & Infrastructure chair welcomes announcement of new offshore windfarms off Highland coastlines

offshore windfarm
Photo supplied courtesy of Global Energy

The chair of Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee has welcomed today’s announcement by Crown Estate Scotland of 25GW of new offshore wind developments, many of which earmarked off the coast of Highland.

Chair of Highland Council’s Economy & Infrastructure Committee and Climate Change Working Group Chair, Cllr Trish Robertson, welcomed today’s ScotWind offshore wind leasing round announcement, which she said: “signalled a huge step forward,” in sustainable energy.

Cllr Robertson also welcomed the economic opportunities for Highland, saying: “The opportunities presented by the offshore industry will be a welcome boost as we continue on the road to recovery from the pandemic.

“In the Highlands we are very reliant on seasonal employment from tourism. To see a variety of new jobs can only help reverse depopulation and give our young people the choice of staying in the Highlands.”

Today Highlands and Islands Enterprise said that the “economic impact of the offshore wind industry in the Highlands and Islands could be similar to that of historic oil and gas developments.”

The investment in offshore wind could lead to the creation of many new jobs as well as the world’s first floating offshore wind supply chain, manufacturing many of the components required for floating projects. The growth in this field could see the attraction of new, young talent to the Highlands and Islands.

Seventeen projects, with a combined potential generating capacity of 25GW, have been offered the rights to specific areas of the seabed for the development of offshore wind power - with developers giving commitments to invest in the Scottish supply chain, providing opportunities for high quality green jobs for decades to come.

The projects are expected to secure at least £1bn in supply chain investment for every 1GW of capacity proposed. They will also generate around £700 million in revenue for the Scottish Government and represent the world’s first commercial scale opportunity for floating offshore wind.

As well as helping complete Scotland’s own journey to net zero, creating thousands of jobs in the process, these offshore wind resources also have the potential to position Scotland as a major exporter of renewable energy, including green hydrogen.

17 Jan 2022