Two years ago, Scotland was promised a renewables revolution that would have a “transformational” impact on the economy.

Some of the biggest energy players in the world were behind bids for a new stake in the North Sea. Winners in the ScotWind leasing round claimed the rights to build the next generation of offshore windfarms across an area of seabed spanning more than 7,000km² and capable of generating 28.6 gigawatts of cleaner energy – equivalent to more than five times Scotland’s current need.

Scotland already generates more renewable electricity than it uses, with record production levels in the latter half of 2023 pushing net exports to other UK nations up to an estimated £1.5bn for the year. And it has a strong record in offshore renewables. Turbines have been turning on Hywind Scotland, the world’s first commercial floating windfarm, off the coast of Peterhead since 2017, while the deepest fixed offshore windfarm on the planet – Seagreen in the Firth of Forth – has been operating since late last year.

But with ScotWind, the aim is to supercharge renewables; where the black gold rush of the 1970s anchored the economy to fossil fuel production, the scheme is aimed at creating the same kind of benefits from wind, whipping up jobs, investment, and secure power supplies at the same time as environmental benefits.

If delivered, the results will not just keep the lights on here, but provide enough power to do so in other countries too, with Scotland becoming a major exporter of renewable energy. “ScotWind puts Scotland at the forefront of the global development of offshore wind, represents a massive step forward in our transition to net zero, and will help deliver the supply chain investments and high-quality jobs that will make the climate transition a fair one,” said then first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

But anyone who thought delivery would be made at a rate of knots would have been wrong. Major infrastructure projects take time, lots of time, and planning consent forms have been filed for just one of the 20 schemes, of which most are floating facilities and the remainder fixed to the ocean floor. And there’s no timeline or indication as to when others will submit their plans to governing officials.,is-scotwind-on-course-to-deliver-what-was-promised?fbclid=IwAR1T3HD3csluJebUQdDoh3TCRwY1zuzP9LWIGjJRjy0_9tpDeMYeg06Rf18_aem_ASmS8V0W-A4OeG8GjSrdbVM4bSKTTh_XTIBCmWG3jFYgZvvO6bBklzSLTXL9p1srrEl6kPng33gqiP9K6ZY-S-sN

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