Renewables jobs boost may be in prospect in Scotland

WINDFARM investors will be required to do more to support the development of the supply chain if they want to benefit from subsidies worth £285m annually amid concern about the failure of Scottish projects to deliver the expected economic benefits.

The Westminster Government plans to beef up the supply chain commitment tests that developers must pass before they can apply for support under the Contracts for Difference programme.

The business department has launched a consultation into proposals which include the introduction of more rigorous questioning and scoring procedures and the raising of the pass mark to make qualification more robust.

It said the process could be extended to include some emerging renewable energy technologies, including floating offshore wind. This is expected to play a significant part in the development of Scotland’s renewable energy generating capacity.

READ MORE: Oil giants hail success in historic ScotWind auction

There has been disappointment in Scotland that key manufacturing contracts in respect of windfarms have been awarded to firms based outside the country.

Firms that applied for acreage in the recent ScotWind seabed leasing round were required to submit supply chain development statements.

Successful ScotWind applicants are expected to bid for support for their projects under the CFD scheme.

The next round of the scheme opens in 2023.

HeraldScotland: Picture: GettyPicture: Getty

Under this £200m support will be provided for offshore wind annually, £75m for technologies classed as emerging technologies, such as remote island wind, tidal stream and floating offshore wind, and £10m for established technologies, such as solar and onshore wind.

Energy Minister Greg Hands MP said: “The Contracts for Difference scheme has helped the UK become a world leader in renewable energy, drive down costs and reduce our exposure to volatile global fossil fuel prices.”

READ MORE: ScottishPower feels gas price rise impact as windfarm output drops

Last month Scotland’s Energy Secretary, Michael Matheson, told MSPs: “I accept that we have not achieved the level and scale of inward investment and supply chain development in the renewable sector that we would have wanted to.”

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