Scotland Pledges $500M for Wind Energy Supply Chain

by Victor Adetimilehin

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf announced a $500 million investment in the country’s wind energy supply chain on Tuesday, as part of a drive to create green jobs and attract private investment. Speaking at the SNP conference in Aberdeen, Yousaf said the funding would support the development of ports and harbors, which are essential for the offshore wind industry. He said the investment would also encourage domestic companies to seek new opportunities and foster export potential. “By investing in our ports and harbors, we are sending a clear message to global investors that Scotland means business,” he said.

The announcement comes as Scotland prepares to host the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next month, where world leaders will discuss how to tackle the global climate crisis. Scotland has ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2045. The country is already a leader in renewable energy, with more than 90% of its electricity coming from clean sources in 2020.

Offshore wind is a key part of Scotland’s energy mix, with several large-scale projects planned or under construction in its waters. The ScotWind leasing round, which closed in July, attracted bids from major developers who pledged to invest up to $34 billion in local supply chains over the lifetime of their projects.

The Scottish government said the $500 million commitment would be delivered through the Scottish National Investment Bank and enterprise agencies over the next five years. It said the funding would be aligned with the Strategic Investment Model, which aims to provide clarity and certainty for the supply chain and ensure a fair distribution of benefits across Scotland. The wind energy sector welcomed the announcement, saying it would stimulate growth, innovation and skills development for Scottish businesses and communities.

“Scottish ports are the lynchpin for our offshore renewable ambitions and investing in this critical infrastructure will ensure the nation benefits from the fresh economic investment and regeneration opportunities a home-grown clean energy supply chain brings,” said Emma Harrick, head of energy transition and supply chain at Scottish Renewables.

Bob Buskie, chief executive of Cromarty Firth Port Authority, which recently secured green freeport status, said the funding would boost the region’s ambition to become a global renewable energy hub. “We can support new offshore and floating offshore wind farm projects earmarked in areas both close to us geographically and further afield for decades,” he said. Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said the investment would help create high-quality sustainable jobs and support the energy transition.

“As ever, the devil will be in the detail, but we look forward to working closely with the Scottish government to ensure this $500 million of new investment will deliver a lasting return for Aberdeen and the North East,” he said. The investment in the wind energy supply chain is part of Scotland’s wider efforts to build a green economy that is resilient, inclusive and fair. Yousaf also announced plans to issue Scottish government bonds for the first time, which he said would be used to fund major infrastructure projects.

He said Scotland was ready to lead the world in tackling climate change and creating a better future for its people. “We have a vision of a Scotland that is greener, fairer and more prosperous,” he said. “A Scotland that works for everyone.”

Source: [Energy Voice]

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