Scotland's energy transition taking off with number of major investments - Angus Robertson

Angus Robertson in Berlin promoting Scottish renewablesAngus Robertson in Berlin promoting Scottish renewables
Angus Robertson in Berlin promoting Scottish renewables
Scotland’s energy transition is really taking off with a number of major investment announcements. Over £400 million is now assured for the construction of a massive port site at Ardesier near Inverness which will support the development of offshore wind parks.

In what is one of the biggest industrial regeneration projects in the Highlands for decades 450 acres in total, including 650 metres of new quayside, are being developed.

First Minister John Swinney said the development would help deliver a “fairer, greener future for everyone”.

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He said: “Scotland’s growing offshore wind capabilities present an era-defining opportunity – not only to achieve a just transition to net zero, but to harness the skills which lie across our energy sector and wider supply chain to create thousands of green jobs and transform our regional and national economies.”

The announcement for the Ardesier site, follows only weeks after confirmation of a £350m investment by Sumitomo Electric at the Port of Nigg for a new high voltage cable manufacturing facility. The cables will be an important component in the domestic supply chain for offshore renewables, and follows a Scottish Government visit to Japan to help deliver the deal.

Màiri McAllan is the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Net Zero and Energy Secretary. She said: “The Nigg project is a significant milestone in bringing the infrastructure and manufacturing facilities critical to the growth of our world-leading offshore wind sector – and an important step towards our vision for Scotland’s net zero economy.”

Developments around Scotland’s coastline are seeing significant investment in port and industrial facilities as part of the transition towards renewables. There is also major progress towards the development of a hydrogen economy to further our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland’s energy system while ensuring a just transition.

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Scotland has vast renewable energy resources. Subject to planning and consenting decisions and finding a route to market, the Scottish Government has confirmed a potential pipeline of over 40 GW of offshore wind generation projects. This could enable the use of surplus electrons for the creation of low-cost renewable hydrogen. This generating potential opens up new economic opportunities for our nation to become a leading producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen. International demand for hydrogen is growing, with Germany especially keen to import hydrogen as part of their “Energiewende” energy transition.

In recent discussions in Berlin I met with the key German government advisors on hydrogen for the Federal Chancellory and Ministry for Economy and Climate Change. They are extremely keen to explore the potential to import hydrogen from Scotland, including pipeline interconnectivity. Berlin also hosted an Arctic Assembly event where I was able to showcase what Scotland has to offer when it comes to renewables.

Green hydrogen production from renewables will pave the way for gigawatt-scale hydrogen production linked to offshore wind and carbon capture utilisation and storage towards the end of the decade and the establishment of several regional hydrogen hubs servicing industry, heat and multi-modal transport, alongside the export market.

Scotland’s energy transition is already underway. We can help neighbours like Germany with their Energiewende too. All of Scotland’s northern neighbours have tremendous renewable energy potential. By working together to make northern Europe an interconnected centre of innovation and renewable energy export we can become the “battery of continental Europe”.

Angus Robertson is Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary