Wind-friendly floating harbors could deliver $ 25 billion for Scottish industry, but ‘time is running out’

A tactical investment in Scotland’s port infrastructure designed to support the rapidly growing international offshore wind industry could deliver tens of billions of pounds in economic benefits to the country over the coming decades, an independent government-backed report has calculated.

The Strategic Investment Assessment (SIA), led by Professor Jim McDonald, found that building 22 hectares of new port capacity suitable for manufacturing floating wind platforms would immediately boost some £ 1.5 billion ( $ 2 billion) of investment in the country and would lead to offshore developments by 2027 that would generate a total expenditure of nearly £ 19 billion, as well as the creation of 1,900 jobs per year during construction and some 30 000 over the operational life of these projects.

Commissioned by the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC), an industry-government group co-chaired by Minister of Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee and Brian McFarlane, Director of SSE Renewables, set out five key recommendations :

  • the establishment of a collaborative framework supporting the creation of a Scottish cluster of floating offshore wind ports,
  • supporting Scottish suppliers ‘to prepare them to bid and win work’,
  • “Celebrate and sell” the success of the Scottish offshore wind supply chain,
  • prepare for future growth and the next generation of innovation, and
  • energy transition planning and “a future of distant and mixed energy projects”.

“As a nation at the forefront of energy engineering, innovation and exploitation since the industrial revolution, this rapid change in the way we produce and consume energy as we struggle against the real and current impacts of climate change is a major challenge for Scotland. But of course, it’s also an opportunity, ”said McDonald.

“Scotland currently has a significant asset base among its CEOs and corporate base, with strategic plans to respond to the growing international market for floating offshore wind, ports and other facilities.

“By taking a collaborative approach to create a port cluster with complementary capabilities and capabilities, Scotland will be in a better position to attract domestic and foreign investment, build a strong and competitive floating wind supply chain, position ourselves competitively in a large-scale global opportunity and obtain the economic benefits of being regarded as an international leader in this field.

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McDonald added: “Time is running out, which means that it is essential that the offshore wind industry and the government take into account the recommendations of this assessment and focus their actions on their implementation. “

Focus on local construction of floating wind platforms through the creation of the port cluster, starting with the investment to support the refurbishment of existing old oil and gas manufacturing yards in Scotland and the addition of an additional 22 hectares sector-specific port capacity, the SIA found, could continue to generate longer-term growth and a £ 4.5bn market.

“We recommend bringing the ports together to ‘move the fence’ beyond their immediate boundaries. This creates a group of ports suitable for the fabrication and fabrication of floating platforms… which means that multiple ports work together to provide the capacity and capabilities required by industry but not available in one place, ”a McDonald said.

The report pointed out that to capitalize on ScotWind’s current leasing cycle, launched earlier this year by Crown Estate Scotland with the ambition to build 10 GW of projects by 2030, “A new partnership approach will be needed”, with lessons learned from sectors such as oil and gas used “to develop a collaborative framework that can articulate the expected future needs of the offshore wind sector”.

The Scottish and British governments, the SIA said, must help with “the first major investments” to build world-class port facilities. He also highlighted the Scottish subsea engineering sector as “a priority group well suited to offshore wind” which should be helped to “better engage with and gain work with offshore wind companies from foreground”.

ScotWind, according to the report, could immediately trigger the creation of 5,000 jobs per year during construction.

Scottish Energy Minister Michael Matheson said: “The offshore wind sector has a vital role to play in decarbonizing our energy system and ensuring that we become a net zero economy by 2045.

“With a pipeline of new projects expected to be delivered by the first round of ScotWind Leasing, the Scottish Government is committed to putting this SIA in place during our first 100 days in government as we seek to better support the chain offshore wind supply and creating more good, green jobs as we make a just transition to net zero.

“The report clearly sets out the steps we need to take to seize the economic opportunity this presents for Scotland. As COP26 in Glasgow approaches, this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate our action on renewable energy and I look forward to continuing to engage with SOWEC as they move the implementation forward. implementation of recommendations. “

Jonathan Cole, offshore general manager of Iberdrola Renewables and member of the executive committee of SIA, said: new float [wind] an industry that supports the energy transition and leaves no one behind – people, companies, communities.

“Today’s report sets the strategic framework to ensure we can reap the benefits throughout the supply chain and across the country. We need to embrace the collective momentum and determination of the Scottish offshore wind industry to make this happen and ensure that we can all enjoy a better future, faster. “

Colin Maciver, Senior Director of Development at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “With the development of ScotWind Leasing, we know there is huge interest from developers hoping for the chance to build the next generation of offshore wind farms in Scotland, and we also know that the development of the country’s port infrastructure is a key element in unlocking the economic potential this can bring to Scottish communities.[thecountry’sportinfrastructureisakeypartofunlockingtheeconomicpotentialthatthiscanbringtoScottishcommunities[thecountry’sportinfrastructureisakeypartofunlockingtheeconomicpotentialthatthiscanbringtoScottishcommunities

“This report aligns with our efforts to ensure that ScotWind candidates engage with their potential supply chain at an early stage and highlights the type of cross-sector collaboration that will be required over the next several years to ensure that Scotland makes the most of the opportunity that ScotWind is ready to deliver.

Crown Estate Scotland plans to award the first option agreements for Scotwind’s leases in January after “high” interest in the pioneering tender which reserved 74 applications for the 15 seabed areas of a who’s-who of global offshore wind players including Orsted, RWE, Ocean Winds, BP, EnBW, Shell, Iberdrola, TotalEnergies, Equinor, Vattenfall, Fred Olsen Renewables and SSE.

Edinburgh earlier this year announced its intention to become a major center supporting giant offshore wind construction developments in the North Sea under plans unveiled for Leith harbor, while the Nigg shipyard near Inverness recently blocked some £ 8.3million in Scottish government investment for a major extension of the dockyard of the shipyard to accommodate offshore and floating wind turbine manufacturing projects.

Scotland is home to two of the first floating wind farms, the 30MW Hywind Scotland and the 50MW Kincardine, but the platforms for these projects were built in Norway and Spain respectively.