SCOTLAND has several key advantages over many of its European competitors, as it already possesses the offshore capacity, skills and experience to make the energy transition possible. Although a major challenge, there is enormous potential to bring investment worth billions of pounds and create thousands of jobs in Scotland and beyond.

Leading risk and assurance business DNV, has released its latest UK Energy Transition Outlook suggesting the UK is going to miss out on cutting emissions to zero by 2050. It concludes that in order for targets to be met the UK has to accelerate its programme of electrification and decarbonisation.

This is something we have been acutely aware of at Flotation Energy, which is why we began our energy transition projects back in 2019. We have been working with regulators, both on and offshore, to ensure consent is in place to deliver renewable power to the oil and gas sector and consumers across the UK by 2026.

We are currently engaged with the Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing round, which is overseen by Crown Estate Scotland. Our two projects, Green Volt and Cenos, will generate 1.9 GW of renewable energy from floating offshore wind farms to enable the electrification and decarbonisation of offshore oil and gas platforms in the North Sea – saving more than three million tonnes of carbon every year. We are ready to build a new economy which exports knowledge, skills and electrons right around the world.

The deployment of more offshore wind developments as part of the North Sea Transition Deal will create opportunities across the supply chain and decrease costs for future projects. The INTOG leasing round presents a “now or never” opportunity for Scotland to develop new wind farms which decarbonise the fossil fuel sector and will outlast oil and gas facilities by several decades - delivering energy security for the UK.

Further afield, we and our partners have the expertise, experience and ambition to move at pace to build large-scale wind farms all over the world. But in order for offshore developers such as ourselves to harness their full potential, governments must commit to continued policy support for electrification and whet the appetite of oil and gas producers to embrace change.

Turbulence in the global energy market caused by the boom in demand as countries emerge from the pandemic and exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have demonstrated the importance of a strong domestic energy supply.

Governments of all stripes have for many years pinned their hopes on the vast potential of Scotland’s natural resources, particularly its vast offshore wind potential, to usher in a new era of renewables-led growth and prosperity. This is a fine ambition, and one which can certainly be realised, but it must have the support of governments who recognise it is the most effective – and maybe the only – way for the UK to realise its net zero target.

Allan MacAskill is Director at Flotation Energy PLC