The Scottish Government has pledged its support for renewable energy in the country by awarding a sum of money to the Carbon Trust. The £1.5 million fund will support the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) research and design programme. The funding is expected to go towards further investments, creativity, and innovation in the renewable energy sector.
Set up in 2008, the OWA has driven forward new technologies in the offshore wind sector – seen by the renewables industry as a key area for growth.
Previous funding rounds have supported research into the floating wind technology market and into the use of concrete foundations for offshore windfarms in deeper waters.
The Carbon Trust will fund projects in the following three areas:
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– Continuing to explore the opportunity that floating offshore wind offers to Scotland
– Encouraging international collaboration on offshore wind developers’ most pressing problems, specifically addressing how developers working in Scottish waters can make offshore wind more efficient
– Sharing knowledge on innovation and cost reduction between partners
Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is a collaborative programme run by the Carbon Trust, which aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind through technological innovation.
“Previous Scottish Government support for the OWA has helped develop new ideas in key areas of importance to companies operating in Scottish waters and I have no doubt this new funding will help firms to continue this important work.
“Only last week, around 350 jobs were announced as a direct result of the construction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, highlighting the massive opportunity offshore wind presents to Scotland and the Scottish economy.
“Innovation in renewables also continues to contribute to the excellent progress we are making on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after the recent announcement that Scotland has exceeded our 2020 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% six years early.
“I will be attending Renewable UK’s Global Offshore Wind Conference on Wednesday in Manchester where I look forward to discussing not only this important announcement but the Scottish Government’s continued support for this important part of the renewables sector.”
WWF Scotland Director Lang Banks said: “Scotland’s seas boast a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind resource with the potential to create thousands of jobs, help us to avoid carbon emissions, and to power the nation. By driving innovation and promoting collaboration, support for initiatives like the Accelerator Programme will help to ensure that we’re well placed to make the most of the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind.
“Independent research has shown that Scotland could have a secure electricity system powered almost entirely by renewables by 2030. To ensure that we reap the benefits of becoming the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation, in addition to continued support for offshore wind, the Scottish Government’s forthcoming energy strategy should major on flexibility, demand reduction, and storage.”