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United Kingdom

Scotland turns to offshore wind to decarbonise oil and gas

Seabed landlord to auction leases for offshore wind farms that can help green Scotland’s oil and gas sector

An offshore oil rig in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland (pic credit: Mustang Joe/Flickr)
An offshore oil rig in the Cromarty Firth, Scotland (pic credit: Mustang Joe/Flickr)

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Seabed landlord Crown Estate Scotland plans to launch a new leasing process for offshore wind farms that can help decarbonise the country’s oil and gas sector.

The round will be specifically designed for offshore wind farms that green the country’s oil and gas industry, as well as small-scale innovation projects of less than 100MW.

It will be entirely separate to the ScotWind leasing round currently underway for commercial scale projects off Scotland, Crown Estate Scotland advised.

The landlord has not yet announced how many lease areas will be awarded in the new round, or their total capacity.

Successful applicants will be granted exclusivity over relevant areas of seabed. Winning bidders will be able to sign a final option agreement – whereby they pay an annual fee to reserve a site until they finalise their plans to build a new wind farm – once they have been selected.

Crown Estate Scotland plans to open the leasing process for applications in early 2022.

It plans to announce further information on the leasing process in November 2021.

Chief executive of industry group Scottish Renewables Claire Mack said: "The equivalent of almost all Scotland’s electricity consumption is now provided by renewable technologies like wind, hydro, solar, tidal and more. 

“But we have much more to do: the next challenge is decarbonising our heat and transport sectors, which together make up around three-quarters of the energy we use, and it is imperative that the legislation and regulations to allow that decarbonisation, using renewable energy and in line with our existing targets, are optimised to that end."

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