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Scotland must encourage renewable hydrogen and floating wind farms

Crown Estate Scotland has allocated three new areas in the North Sea, east of the Shetland Islands, for the construction of floating wind farms.

The areas complement the massive investment in offshore wind energy announced by the ScotWind project earlier this year. In the process, seventeen projects were initially announced.

With the three additional areas, ScotWind would build out an offshore capacity of 27.6 gigawatts.

Energy Security

In January of this year the ScotWind already announced seventeen projects for offshore wind energy. These mentioned a capacity of 24.8 gigawatts, with floating wind farms to represent a capacity of almost 15.1 gigawatts.

The three additional projects will boost the capacity of floating wind farms to nearly 17.9 gigawatts. The proceeds from the three new parks should be used to produce renewable hydrogen.

“The Scottish Government sees offshore wind energy as one of the most important economic and environmental opportunities offered to the country,” Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed in a comment on the announcement.

“This activity gives Scotland the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions while improving its energy security. In addition, the sector will create tens of thousands of high-quality jobs.” The licences will also generate £860 million for the Scottish Exchequer.

Offshore wind power will prove to be an added value for the whole of Scotland, but will be particularly important for the north-east of the country,” Sturgeon further argued. “This will mean that the region will no longer have to be labelled primarily as the capital of European oil and gas production, but will instead be able to emerge as one of the European spearheads of climate neutrality.”

Rapid transition

The Scottish Prime Minister went on to note that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the rising cost of living have clearly demonstrated the importance of a rapid transition to renewable sources. Sturgeon went on to point out that in Scotland, the electricity grid is already almost 100 percent powered by renewables.

A recent survey by the Scottish Government found massive popular support for investment in renewable energy, which respondents said had significant social and economic value. It was also possible to find that Scots overwhelmingly support the construction of offshore wind farms.

Among those living in coastal areas in the vicinity of offshore wind farms, 25 percent indicated that the activity had a positive impact on their quality of life. Only 4 percent reported a negative impact.

According to 66 percent of those surveyed, the construction of offshore wind turbines has had a positive boost to the local economy. It could also be reported that for 81 percent of the respondents, a visual presence of the offshore wind turbines would have no impact on their selection of vacation destinations.

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