New offshore wind team to boost industry body as sector ramps up for 2024
Industry body Scottish Renewables is launching a new team to focus on the offshore wind sector – with Crown Estate Scotland’s current Director of Marine at the helm.
The four-strong team – to be led by Colin Palmer, currently working at the Scottish public body responsible for seabed leasing – will focus on enabling and accelerating development of offshore wind farms in Scotland’s seas. The new team will also be responsible for supporting Scottish Renewables’ role in co-ordinating the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) Barriers to Deployment group.
Issues facing the offshore wind sector include the way in which projects will be consented and how power from new offshore wind farms will be used, including for green hydrogen production, and access to the electricity network.
The move comes as Scottish Renewables’ membership continues to grow with more and more businesses moving from oil and gas to renewables and the organisation’s relocation to larger, sustainable offices in Glasgow city centre earlier this year.
Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said:
“The renewable energy industry has never had such an abundance of projects like this before and I'm determined that we should have the capacity to represent our members as they begin to build out tens of billions of pounds worth of offshore wind in Scotland’s seas.
“Scottish Renewables’ members are involved at every stage of offshore wind development, from the legal firms who deal with contracting to the supply chain companies who work on every aspect of these gigantic projects, and of course the developers who bring them together.
“With the largest floating offshore wind pipeline in the world, as well as multiple gigawatts of fixed-bottom offshore wind in development, and by taking advantage of its unrivalled wind resource, Scotland has a genuine opportunity to be a global leader in this area.”
The new offshore team will work alongside Scottish Renewables’ existing six-strong Policy team, with onshore wind Senior Policy Manager Mark Richardson moving to cover offshore wind.
New Director of Offshore, Colin started working in the renewable energy industry more than 20 years ago. His roles have included leading the five-year development phase of the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm to consent in 2014 and sitting on the management committee of Forewind, the consortium which consented the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.
For the past five years Colin has led the Crown Estate Scotland Marine team through the development and implementation of the ScotWind and INTOG leasing rounds as well as focusing on enabling offshore wind development in co-ordination and collaboration with stakeholders across public sector and industry.
“The offshore wind sector in Scotland has an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a large-scale increase in generation capacity and transform the UK’s electricity supply.
“There are significant challenges ahead but I’m certain that the expertise and influence Scottish Renewables has will help tackle these issues and deliver our ambitions for Scotland’s offshore wind sector.”
Scottish Renewables represents more than 320 organisations working in renewable energy in Scotland. That’s up almost 40% since the ScotWind offshore wind leasing process, with the majority of that increase due to supply chain SMEs diversifying from oil and gas into renewable energy.
The results of ScotWind Leasing process announced in 2022, saw 20 offshore wind projects receive seabed option agreements. Those projects total up to 27.6GW, with initial supply chain commitments indicating an average of £1.5 billion investment in Scotland per project built.