Booming offshore wind industry comes to Glasgow

30/01/18 | News release

Offshore wind power’s future will be debated in Glasgow on January 30.

Experts from across Europe will travel to Scotland to set out how they see this innovative, booming industry developing.

Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference will hear from those building offshore wind farms and the home-grown supply chain businesses which are supplying them. Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse will also give a Ministerial Address.

Scotland is the windiest country in Europe. The development of offshore wind projects in the waters off the country’s east coast is just beginning following several years of delay while legal challenges to planning consents were considered.

Speaking ahead of the conference Fabrice Leveque, Senior Policy Manager at industry body Scottish Renewables, said:

“2018 looks set to be the year Scotland really begins to make its mark in offshore wind.

“Our waters are already home to the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind, with others waiting in the wings.

“Projects like Beatrice, in the Moray Firth, are beginning to deploy more conventional, bottom-fixed turbines off Scotland, too.

“In total more than 2GW of offshore wind – enough to power more than 1.6 million homes – has UK Government contracts to sell the power it will produce.

“That means huge opportunity for the hundreds of supply chain companies which feed their offshore expertise into these projects.

“And it means huge opportunity for ports and communities along our east coast, with Wick, for example, already benefitting from a £10 million investment as part of its role as the operations and maintenance base for the £2.6 billion Beatrice project.”

The conference’s sell-out exhibition will feature companies from Denmark, Norway and Belgium, while delegates from leading offshore wind businesses like James Fisher Marine Services, Ecosse Subsea Systems and Babcock International Group will also be in attendance.

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:

“The Scottish Government recognises the enormous potential benefits of offshore wind energy in Scotland, and the importance of working with the industry at annual events like these to discuss how we can collectively continue to reduce the cost of this technology, stimulate the development of further projects and to increase the Scottish content of projects to boost the economic impact for Scotland.

“Our Programme for Government set out commitments to maintain our world-leading position as the place for low carbon and renewable energy development and deployment and we are well on track in 2018 - with construction underway at Beatrice and the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, with Hywind Scotland now up and running, and with Neart na Gaoithe and Moray East due to follow.

“Our Energy Strategy sets out our long-term ambitions for both fixed and floating wind farms to play a key role in decarbonising Scotland’s energy system and meeting our challenging climate change targets. The Scottish Government is determined to work in partnership with the industry to make these ambitions a reality.”

Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference is being held in association with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for advancing offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.

Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of ORE Catapult, said:

“This conference comes at a transformative time for the UK’s offshore wind industry, which is achieving unprecedented cost reductions, reducing bills for consumers and boosting businesses of all sizes.

“The industry is now working with the UK Government to agree a transformational Sector Deal, unlocking tremendous opportunities for innovative businesses to meet the growing international demand for new technologies such as floating wind, robotics, digital transformation and artificial intelligence, delivering thousands of highly skilled jobs and massive economic benefits for the UK.

“Scotland, its growing supply chain and thriving community of innovators will be at the very heart of that Sector Deal”.

Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference is to be held at Strathclyde University’s Technology Innovation Centre.

Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference is sponsored by Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Crown Estate Scotland, Ecosse Subsea Systems, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Invest in Fife, James Fisher Marine Services and NewWaves Solutions.