Report suggests offshore wind will aid Scottish job boom

Scotland’s offshore wind industry could create 28,000 jobs by 2020, contributing £7.1bn of investment to the economy, according to a report commissioned by Scottish Renewables and Scottish Enterprise.

The first comprehensive study of the potential impact of offshore wind on the Scottish economy suggests this new industry could create as many as 48,000 jobs – 28,000 directly, supported by a further 20,000 through related industries.

’Scottish offshore wind: creating an industry’ also highlights that Scotland already has major strengths in the supply chain to this new industry in areas such as cable laying and subsea structures, with a number of Scottish-based businesses already generating significant revenues from offshore wind development.

But the report warns that unless strategic investments are made in grid, port facilities and skills, Scotland might only develop only a fraction of currently leased sites, delivering just 900 jobs.

Commenting on the figures, Jenny Hogan, director of Policy at Scottish Renewables, said: ’Other parts of the UK and ports all over Europe are fighting tooth and nail to secure investment and the economic benefits that offshore manufacturing and associated activity will bring. If Scotland is to attract major inward investors and grow the supply chain, we need to develop key ports and manufacturing facilities, as well as securing necessary grid connections.’

Adrian Gillespie, senior director of Energy and Low Carbon Technologies at Scottish Enterprise, said: ’This report sets out the scale of the opportunity that the rapidly evolving offshore wind sector offers Scotland’s economy. It also highlights how industry, government and academia need to be aligned in such a way that the most ambitious scenario is achieved.’