Simon Hodge chief executive of Crown Estate Scotland: From shipbuilding on the Clyde to oil and gas in the North Sea, Scotland has long been a global leader in offshore engineering. As we move to a low-carbon economy, there is an opportunity for Scottish engineering to lead the way in generating clean electricity. The global offshore wind industry is predicted to be worth £30 billion by 2030. The UK is already one of the world leaders in offshore wind deployment, 20 per cent of which is set to be located in Scotland by 2023. But we are lagging behind other parts of the UK in building a strong supply chain. We need to redouble our efforts if we are to grab the opportunity set out in the UK government’s Sector Deal for offshore wind, which outlines a clear route to building a world-leading supply chain. The deal’s goal of achieving a pipeline of offshore wind developments over the next decade provides the foundation for growth in Scotland, and is essential to give Scottish-based companies the confidence to invest. It also focuses on prioritising skills and development – a must if we are to attract investment. As Scotland’s share of the UK’s offshore wind grows, it provides a clear route for diversification from oil and gas, which we need as we decarbonise our economy. It’s a global race in which Scotland needs to compete. That will not happen overnight, but this deal and the imminent increase in offshore wind deployment in Scotland creates the conditions needed for us to begin. If we can grasp the opportunity, then coastal communities around Scotland could benefit from a significant economic injection. The industry has committed to investing £250 million to develop the UK supply chain, as well as sourcing at least 60 per cent of skills and materials from the UK. To meet this target, new businesses and infrastructure need to be created – a great opportunity for Scotland. Developers need to access the seabed, so later this year Crown Estate Scotland is planning to launch a new leasing process, called ScotWind, designed to support Scottish supply chain development and attract new investment.
Times 4th April 2019 read more »