The government's new Offshore Wind Sector deal is very welcome news and evidence that the voice of the clean energy industry is being heard.
The Offshore Energy Passport is a particularly interesting proposition. With the UK positioning itself as a global leader in offshore wind power, firms working in the sector are increasingly looking for opportunities to export their expertise and know-how.
That expertise is typically derived from the UK market – indeed, we're seeing new participants seeking entrance into the UK offshore sector to gain experience that they can then leverage abroad. The Passport proposition is a sensible step towards ensuring that we capitalise on the know-how developed here and are well placed to export our services globally.
Enabling British businesses and talent to deliver international projects maximises our potential for growth. It also maintains the UK's position at the heart of global offshore energy, fully leveraging our expertise not only in offshore wind but also in oil and gas.
Given the significance of renewable energy to Scottish employment and its economy generally – as evidenced by the 2017 ONS low carbon turnover and employment figures – the Offshore Wind Sector deal will be particularly important in Scotland as the Scottish offshore wind industry expands. We can expect to see the deployment of projects that already have the green light as well those still to come via the next Crown Estate Scotland leasing round.
The benefit that should accrue to the Scottish offshore sector will also carry extra significance following the removal of subsidies, which triggered a reduction in employment in the onshore wind sector across the UK but particularly north of the border.
The latest ONS figures released in January show that employment levels in clean energy generally were broadly stable from 2016 to 2017. And while the 2018 employment data is not yet available, we can expect some growth thanks to an increase in the number of schemes being developed, particularly in offshore wind.
This new deal, however, supports further acceleration of employment growth in the offshore sector and provides a long-term boost in this space, creating opportunities along the entire clean energy supply chain, including in energy storage.
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at March 2019. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.