It is estimated that 25% of all of Europe's wind energy crosses the seas around Scotland. Therefore Scotland is well positioned to reap the benefits that offshore wind development offers.
The Scottish Government believes that offshore wind energy represents the biggest opportunity for sustainable economic growth in Scotland for a generation. As a result the Government is working in active partnership and collaboration with all offshore wind developers active in Scotland, grid companies, manufacturing firms, academia, other relevant parties and the key public sector bodies to put in place the necessary components to secure these benefits.
The Offshore Wind Industry Group (OWIG) has been formed to provide a forum for the public sector (Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Development International), offshore wind developers active in Scotland and other relevant parties to drive the success of this industry into Scotland. The role of the Group is to identify and take forward the actions necessary to support this industry in realising the fullest economic and environmental benefits for Scotland.
As part of this work OWIG developed a Scotland's Offshore Wind Route Map in 2010 and undertook a refresh in 2013. Both documents makes a series of recommendations to develop the offshore wind sector in Scotland.
Since the refreshed Route Map was published, the changes put in place resulting from Electricity Market Reform has seen the offshore wind sector in the UK contract, as developers evaluate the viability of their projects. This has resulted in one project, the Argyll Array, being withdrawn and the Islay Array being put on hold by the developers concerned in Scotland.
However, in 2014 Scottish Ministers have granted planning consent to project in the Beatrice, Moray Firth, Inch Cape Neart na Gaoithe and Seagreen’s Alpha and Bravo projects which equates to just over 4.1GW of offshore wind capacity.
Further information can be found at Scotland's Offshore Wind Portal.