2011 hailed as best year yet for Scottish ‘green energy’
Energy minister welcomes £46bn investment plans as SSE signs agreement to build offshore wind hub in Dundee
Scotland has experienced its “best year yet” for green energy, according to new government figures confirming £750m worth of new projects were switched on in the past 12 months.
Energy Minister Fergus Ewing hailed 2011 as an “exceptional year” for Scotland’s ambition to deliver 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, noting that there was currently £46bn of green energy investment in the pipeline.
The news came as SSE signed an agreement late last week to build an offshore wind hub, which could create up to 700 jobs in Dundee.
The utility signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Port of Dundee owner Forth Ports, Scottish Enterprise, and Dundee City Council, on Thursday to turn Dundee into a key location for the development of its offshore wind supply chain, which will include forming strategic alliances and making investments in supply firms.
The news will be welcomed by Dundee businesses, in the wake of the decision by Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa to drop Dundee from its shortlist of potential ports for a manufacturing plant.
The Port of Dundee was identified in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan as a key asset for Scotland’s growing renewables sector, but Gamesa said Dundee would be unable to accommodate its timescales and scope.
“The Port of Dundee and the wider city region have a crucial role to play in the future of Scotland’s renewables sector,” said Lena Wilson, chief executive at Scottish Enterprise.
“We have a short window of opportunity to put in place the critical infrastructure for a prosperous developing industry and this partnership will bring the public and private sector together with one goal in mind – to create the ideal breeding ground for Scotland’s renewable supply chain to generate maximum economic and environmental benefit.”
Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables said investors were increasingly seeing Scotland as a key destination for the global renewable energy sector.
“Even as 2011 comes to a close we are continuing to welcome major announcements from international companies such as Gamesa, who have signalled interest in establishing a presence in Leith, and SSE who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with key figures in Dundee to build an offshore wind hub that has the potential to create 700 jobs,” he said.
“It’s announcements like these that have helped grown public support for renewables too.”