The current ScotWind offshore leasing round has sparked huge interest, unsurprising given Scotland’s impressive natural resources, some of the best offshore wind potential in the world and the ever more urgent focus on combatting climate change. The Scottish Government’s ambitious commitment to reaching net zero by 2045, whilst undoubtedly of crucial importance to the environment, also represents a perfect opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the great innovators, building a world leading floating offshore wind industry in Scotland. If we are successful in the ScotWind round, our plans focus on including the maximum amount of Scottish content possible in the offshore wind farms we build. One option is to use concrete for our floating foundation technology, ensuring the floaters can be built easily at Scottish facilities using a local workforce. Here again innovation is key as we are exploring using low carbon cement with a carbon footprint 16 times lower than traditional cement and expect further progress in the decarbonisation of cement production before construction begins. Many of the sites made available in this leasing round are further offshore, where water is deeper and wind is stronger. They are ideally suited to floating technology where, unlike more traditional bottom-fixed offshore wind with the turbine mounted on top of a structure fixed to the seabed, a floating foundation is anchored to the seabed by mooring lines in a similar way to large ships. Their location further from the coast makes floating turbines less disruptive to sea life, birds and the fishing industry. Floating wind developments also offer great potential for producing and storing hydrogen. The technology behind floating foundations builds on a long track-record in the oil and gas sector but needs to be adapted to deliver offshore wind at commercial scale. Small scale floating offshore projects are already producing green electricity in Scotland. The expertise of our team, combining Ørsted’s decades of experience delivering offshore wind around the world with some of the pioneers of floating technology in BlueFloat Energy, will be key to scaling up the industry, bringing costs down and developing skills and knowledge in a workforce that will make Scotland a global leader in floating offshore wind.
Holyrood 5th Oct 2021 read more »