The UK government recently announced a country-wide consortium bid from Ocean Energy Innovation, Carbon Trust and the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec). These bodies have been selected to set up the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a £50 million technology innovation project funded by the Technology Strategy Board.
Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s main economic development agency, has worked intensively leading a part of this consortium and the headquarters will be located in Glasgow. Dr. Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said on behalf of Ocean Energy Innovation:
“Today’s confirmation that Ocean Energy Innovation’s collaborative bid with Narec and the Carbon Trust has been successful is excellent news for the UK’s offshore renewable energy sector. This new Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult comes at a critical time in the evolution of this exciting new industry, and will bring together the very best of the public and private sectors to work in partnership to further develop a globally competitive renewable energy business environment that builds on the UK’s academia, industry excellence and existing competitive advantage.
Work to establish the HQ at the International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone in Glasgow is already underway to ensure the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult is up and running as quickly as possible to help accelerate progress in the wind, wave and tidal sectors. Through this collaborative venture we will work strategically, bringing together innovative companies with key research institutions, to support the development of pioneering low carbon technologies, from initial ideas through development, demonstration and testing to full scale commercial deployment, securing significant economic and environmental benefits for the UK.”
Scotland has already been very progressive in its renewable energy targets and has pushed to include clean energy technologies into its national energy portfolio. Many companies have been investing in Scotland‘s renewable energy sector as well, further boosting their output.
The city of Glasgow is also home to International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) which is a research facility for renewable energy. Over the next 10 years, there is a planned investment of £100 billion in offshore wind energy. SSE, ScottishPower Renewables and Gamesa have their centers in Glasgow. Scottish Enterprise is investing up to £24million in the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, its own Industry Engagement Building and a high profile marketing campaign for the area.
There are many factors that make Glasgow a hub for renewable energy. With several universities, the city produces many top quality graduates. The area has traditionally been strong in subsea engineering and related technology that is conducive for wind energy development. Scotland leads the world in developing deep-offshore wind farms. One of Scotland’s biggest wind farms, Whitelee Wind Farms, is located a few miles outside Glasgow. All this and the high quality of life in Glasgow makes staff retention an easy job for companies.
Image Credit: Akhila Vijayaraghavan ©