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SNP pledges £500M to boost Scotland’s offshore wind sector | New Civil Engineer

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Scottish National Party leader Humza Yousaf has pledged £500M for the offshore wind industry north of the border.

Hamza said the cash would be invested over the next five years to help “anchor” a “new” supply chain for the renewable power sector in the country.

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Aberdeen, Yousaf said offshore wind developers had “indicated that there is the potential for £25bn to be invested in the Scottish supply chain”.

Crown Estate Scotland last year offered seabed rights to 17 projects that could generate 25GW of renewable power.

And SSE Renewables this week revealed that the mammoth 1.1GW Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm was fully operational and generating energy from all 114 turbines.

Yousaf said his latest funding promise would be a “catalyst for additional private investment in our ports and harbours, supporting inward investment and encouraging domestic companies to seek new opportunities”.

He also revealed plans to issue Scotland’s first bond, in a bid to raise cash for capital projects.

“I can confirm that by the end of this parliament the SNP Government will – subject of course to due diligence and market testing – go directly to the international bond market for the first time in our own right.

“To fund vital infrastructure like affordable housing projects, we will issue Scotland’s first ever bond. This will bring Scotland to the attention of investors across the world. And it will raise our profile as a place where investment returns can be made.”

Meanwhile party members passed a motion at this week’s conference asking the Scottish Government to look at amending planning laws to make it easier to erect wind turbines on houses.

At the moment full consent is required unless a property is 100m away from all others, but delegates voted in favour of expanding permitted development rights to all homes.

SNP net zero spokesperson and Angus MP Dave Dugan said: “This motion thinks outside the box and takes a look at a situation creating a drag on renewable energy investment on a domestic and small scale.

“It speaks to the advances in technology that have resulted in a drop in the price of generators and … allows people an opportunity to take the edge off energy bills.”

The motion added that wind turbines could be mounted on lamp posts to feed power to charge points for electric vehicles. It was passed without challenge.

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