IF the hope is to live in interesting times, then we’re living it. MSPs at the Scottish Parliament are sitting to debate the climate change bill today the same day that Statkraft is opening its Scottish HQ in Glasgow. 

It’s a move that will enable us to contribute to Scotland’s economy while also bringing social and environmental benefits.

As Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, we are committed to tackling climate change and welcome the strong leadership being shown by the Scottish Government in reducing CO2 levels. 

Indeed, Scotland is showing great leadership in many areas, but especially so in harnessing renewable energy. 

It is no surprise that Glasgow has been selected as the host venue for Cop26 for example.

It is vital that businesses appreciate the need to address the climate emergency, and it is entirely clear that appropriate action is now essential. 
Of course, our plans in Scotland, where we already have three wind farms, will help us to achieve our ambitions to bring forward 600MW of renewable energy projects in the UK as early as 2025.

We believe these plans are good for Statkraft, but also good for Scotland and the planet.

At a time of climate emergency, a renewable power sector will make electricity increasingly attractive as a source of energy in transport, buildings and industry in future. Statkraft analysis predicts the cost of solar PV will fall by 50 per cent and wind power by 40% by 2050. 

This will result in 44% lower energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 compared to today, in line with a two-degree global temperature increase.

Statkraft’s Low Emissions Scenario 2019 report shows it is quite possible to follow a 1.5-degree pathway with continuing evolution of existing technology. 

The costs associated with this are likely to be far lower than the costs associated with the consequences of failing to achieve a 1.5-degree pathway.

The situation is urgent and it will require long-term planning, infrastructure and considerable efforts from politicians and businesses. 

We have seen that the Scottish Government is already focused on meeting those requirements.

Our own ambitions can help towards these targets, whilst also bringing new jobs and investment.

However, our innovative proposals are not confined to energy generation. For example, we are examining how our wind farms can help bring improved high-speed broadband to rural parts of Scotland. 

A commitment on that from Statkraft is imminent, as we explore different ways to bring value to the Scottish economy.

As our new Glasgow office will be officially opened by Paul Wheelhouse, the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, and Claire Mack, the chief executive of Scottish Renewables, we want to underline the significance we attach to working for the benefit of our partner communities.

For example, we were saddened to see wild fires in Moray and in other parts of Scotland this year which caused significant damage to wildlife and habitats, including on one of our wind farm sites. 

We were impressed though to see how various affected communities came together, with the emergency services and elected representatives, to fight the fires and lessen their damage. 

We believe that our expertise and experience can help in situations such as these to support the bounce back from their devastating effects. 

We will be working hard over the coming months to show how we might deliver a bio-diversity gain that starts the recovery process where it’s needed.

A real stand-out for us has been the spirit of collaboration and friendliness that we have witnessed in Moray and the fact that it has been replicated many times over in other parts of Scotland such as the Highlands. 

Scotland is a progressive country that makes people and businesses welcome.

We are now excited to be making this clear commitment to working in Scotland.

We will be making significant investment via construction and operations. 

And in community funding alone, we will see a minimum of £9.7 million injected into communities for important locally-led initiatives. 

That’s why we are very happy to hear ideas and work with organisations and communities in a variety of sectors, from education and telecoms through to health and construction.

We have 3,600 employees in 16 countries. The group produces hydropower, wind power, solar power, gas-fired power and supplies district heating. 
The company currently has a number of successful projects in Scotland and has others already in development. 

Since 2006, Statkraft has invested £1.4 billion in the UK’s renewable energy infrastructure and facilitated over 6 GW of new-build renewable energy generation.

The people of Scotland can be proud of their own commitment to cleaner energy, fighting the climate emergency, and finding ways to bring about the necessary change. 

We’re proud to be part of that fight.

David Flood is managing director of Statkraft UK.