Offshore Wind Roars Ahead In Scotland

Offshore wind and wave energy technologies will be critical to helping Scotland meet its goal of generating 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020. Fortunately, these industries are having a heyday in Scotland these days. In the last year, Mitsubishi, Gamesa and Doosan have all announced plans to develop and manufacture next generation offshore wind turbine technology in Scotland.

The recently unveiled Prototype Offshore Wind Energy Renewables Support development fund (POWERS) will provide an additional £35 million (US$55 million) to further support Scotland’s production of new offshore wind technology, “power the renewables revolution” and “reindustrialise Scotland,” according to First Minister Alex Salmond. The announcement comes on the heels of the publication of Scottish Enterprise’s new Offshore Wind guide, which finds that by leveraging its oil and gas sector, Scotland could help reduce the cost of offshore wind development by at least 20 percent.

offshore wind power, Rhode Island, Massachusetts

image via Shutterstock

“As developers and investors look across this global market for certainty and for leadership from government, they can look to Scotland to provide those things,” Salmond said. “We are determined to remain among the most attractive locations for manufacturing, including the prototype testing that follows the R&D phase.” The POWERS fund, administered by Scottish Enterpirse, is open for applications until March 2013.

In addition, Salmond announced that wave energy developer Aquamarine Power has secured £7 million (US$11 million) in new funding, and a commitment from existing shareholders to help commercialize the technology by 2014. Aquamarine’s “Oyster” is a wave-powered pump that uses high pressure water to drive an onshore hydro-electric turbine.

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).