Scotland Grants More Aid to Offshore and Floating Wind Turbines

Scotland will give higher incentives to test new offshore and floating wind technology than standard turbines as it seeks to get all its power from renewables.

Projects testing “innovative, new-to-market turbines” will get 2.5 tradable Renewable Obligation Certificates and programs testing floating devices and other machines that aren’t fixed to a foundation will receive 3.5 ROCs, the Scottish Government said today in an e-mailed statement. The figures compare with 2 ROCs for standard offshore wind projects.

“These technologies are needed to help decarbonize our electricity system, increase energy security, and reduce dependence on expensive and depleting fossil fuels,” Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said in the statement. The new level of aid is “available only in Scotland” and “will help bring down the cost of developing offshore wind in our deeper waters.”

Scotland has powers to set its own support levels for renewable energy and has charted a faster path to decarbonizing its economy than the U.K. as a whole. Lawmakers are targeting enough renewable energy capacity to produce all of Scotland’s power by 2020. They estimate planned offshore wind projects in Scotland may total 10 gigawatts by 2020, generating 7 billion pounds ($11 billion) for the economy.

“By investing in offshore test and demonstration sites now, we will have a greater chance of leading the global race to develop next generation offshore wind technologies,” Lindsay Leask, policy manager at the Scottish Renewables industry group said in an e-mailed statement. “Floating offshore wind turbines are also an exciting new technology which could open up development in even deeper waters.”

The Renewables Obligation program requires EON AG, RWE AG and other power suppliers to hold an annually increasing amount of ROCs, or pay a buyout price. Each certificate represents a megawatt-hour of electricity generated from renewable sources.