Scottish offshore spending 'fell 55%'

Scottish Renewables has warned that Scotland’s offshore wind sector risks being “left in limbo”, as it claimed investment by major developers more than halved last year.

Research by the industry group among developers active in Scotland suggests that £28.9m ($47m) was spent in 2013 compared to £63.6m in 2012.

Lindsay Leask, senior policy manager for Scottish Renewables, said: “A reduction of some 55% in a year is cause for concern not only for the sector, but should also be a worrying sign for the Scottish and UK governments too.”

A total of £193.4m has been invested to date, but Leask warned that developers with projects in Scottish waters cannot be “left in limbo”.

Leask added: “Uncertainty throughout the industry is growing as none of the major projects planned for Scottish waters have had their planning applications determined yet, and the details around accessing market incentives are still unclear.”

At the end of last year three of country’s projects were excluded from the shortlist for early contract for difference (CfD) deals under the UK’s new support arrangements.

Utility SSE, one of the key players in Scottish offshore wind and the wider UK sector, said last week it was putting its projects under review in the light of recent policy developments.

Leask said despite the uncertainties, there is still plenty of good news for Scotland’s offshore supply chain.

The country is one of the world’s major centres for offshore wind, with around 5GW of potential development in planning and the deployment sites for Mitsubishi and Samsung 7MW turbines.

Scottish Renewables represents more than 330 companies working in the renewable energy sector.