The Scottish government says companies in Scotland will benefit from new steps to increase the number of offshore wind contracts staying in the blustery country.
Developers would have to agree on supply-chain commitments when applying for offshore wind leases, under an agreement between the devolved government and Crown Estate Scotland, which controls the coastline.
The Scottish administration said representatives from the London-based UK government, trades unions and the industry attended a summit in Edinburgh to discuss how to discuss solutions to issues facing the offshore wind supply chain.
Scotland’s economy secretary, Derek Mackay, said: “Scotland is the ideal location for offshore wind but recent projects have not delivered the significant economic opportunities we want to see for Scottish businesses.
“The Scottish government has been calling for the offshore sector to do more by awarding contracts to our indigenous supply chain but recent disappointments suggest that more has to be done.
“I will use every lever at our disposal to ensure that our renewables supply-chain benefits from the expansion of offshore wind in our waters, leading to the creation and retention of Scottish jobs.
“The measures agreed with Crown Estate Scotland will help to release more of those economic benefits for the Scottish economy and ensure that the Scottish-based supply chain is considered when tendering for work or making long-term conditions.”
Colin Palmer, the director of marine for Crown Estate Scotland, told the media: “Scotland has unique potential when it comes to offshore wind and we’re committed to doing all we can to unlock that opportunity. ScotWind Leasing will present Scotland as an attractive destination for the significant investment needed to deliver the scale of offshore wind projects we want to see.”
Scotland’s trade unions have welcomed the measures to increase the number of offshore wind contracts staying in Scotland.
The GMB union, which has more than 631,000 members, said the loss of Scottish renewable energy jobs was a “scandal”.
It said contracts worth billions were lost to foreign competitors during 2019, losing tens of thousands of Scottish jobs.
In December it was revealed that supply-chain jobs at Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm had been lost to China.
Unite and GMB said in a joint statement: “In 2011 employment in Scotland’s offshore wind sector was forecasted to be 28,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.
“We are nowhere near that and in the last few months redundancy notices have been handed out at supply-chain firms like BiFab and CS Wind.
“Without a detailed industrial plan involving the industry and a substantial programme of investment for our supply chain, our green jobs revolution will continue to be delivered anywhere but Scotland.”
Picture credit: YouTube