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Sir Ian Wood: ScotWind is crucial step in repositioning north-east as net zero capital of Europe

Sir Ian Wood.
Sir Ian Wood.

The announcement of the successful bidders from the first ScotWind leasing round represents a significant milestone in Scotland’s energy transition journey and marks a crucial step in repositioning the north-east of Scotland from the oil and gas capital of Europe to the net zero energy capital of Europe.

Crown Estate Scotland’s decision to approve developments that will generate 24.8GW of offshore wind power, a significant increase on the anticipated 11GW, is hugely encouraging and it’s great to see the Scottish Government’s recognition of the sheer scale of the opportunity before us.

The 18GW of power announced today (Mon), representing over 70% of all successful bids, are within 100 nautical miles of Aberdeen and therefore this region is ideally placed to become a globally recognised hub supporting the high value manufacturing, operations and maintenance and innovation required to deliver these developments at pace.

Energy Transition Zone a draw for investors

This is precisely why we are taking forward the development of the Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) adjacent to the brand new £350 million Aberdeen South Harbour, one of the largest marine projects in the UK.

ETZ has the ambition to meet a crucial requirement of potential investors needing proximity to the quayside given the importance of transporting components, materials and supplies from onshore to offshore and vice versa.

St Fittick’s Park could be the site of an Energy Transition Zone (ETZ) under the Aberdeen City Council local development plan 2022.

The Energy Transition Zone will also be home to a brand new Floating Offshore Wind Technology Centre allowing the north-east to harness first mover advantage with its subsea engineering credentials to accelerate the development of the technology required to maximise the significant floating offshore wind opportunity.

This is particularly important given the massive level of floating offshore wind power announced today.

North-east attractive location for low-carbon tech

ETZ Ltd will also facilitate the faster development of the Scottish energy supply chain cluster across the north-east which, because of our oil and gas industry, is the largest concentration of energy supply chain companies in the UK.

This, along with 75% of the world’s subsea engineering capability, will undoubtedly make this region one of the most attractive locations in Europe for investment in low carbon technologies, particularly offshore wind.

ETZ is an ambitious project that will help create a globally recognised integrated energy cluster focussed on the delivery of net zero and developing a sustainable long-term international industry base that delivers sustainable jobs and growth for the region.

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