Scotland has some of the best offshore wind resources in Europe, with strong and consistent winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. This makes it an ideal location for developing offshore wind farms.
The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets for offshore wind development, with a goal of installing 11 gigawatts (GW) of capacity by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045.
There are currently over 10 GW of offshore wind projects in development in Scotland, including the world’s deepest fixed-bottom offshore wind farm, Seagreen, which became fully operational in October 2023.
Offshore wind is expected to play a major role in helping Scotland meet its net-zero emissions targets by 2045. It is also expected to create thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector.
Some of the benefits of offshore wind in Scotland:
- Clean and renewable energy: Offshore wind farms generate electricity without producing any harmful emissions, helping to combat climate change.
- Jobs and investment: The development and operation of offshore wind farms can create thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector.
- Energy security: Offshore wind can help to reduce Scotland’s reliance on imported fossil fuels, making it more energy secure.
- Economic benefits: Offshore wind can bring significant economic benefits to Scotland, through investment, job creation, and supply chain opportunities.
However, there are also some challenges associated with offshore wind development in Scotland, such as:
- Visual impact: Some people are concerned about the visual impact of offshore wind farms on the landscape.
- Impact on wildlife: There is some concern that offshore wind farms could have a negative impact on marine wildlife, such as birds and fish.
- Cost: Offshore wind is a relatively expensive form of renewable energy, although the costs are coming down as the technology matures.
Overall, offshore wind has the potential to make a significant contribution to Scotland’s energy mix and help it meet its climate change targets.