A new Scottish offshore wind web portal has been launched to provide up-to-the-minute signposting for all information relating to this rapidly-emerging industry.
Offshore wind is arguably Scotland's biggest economic opportunity for a generation. Recognising this, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have developed the web portal to help businesses and individuals with an interest in offshore wind find the information they are looking for.
The new portal, which has been developed in consultation with the wider industry and other public sector partners, includes a DVD, case studies, news stories and an interactive map showing Scotland's offshore wind sites, key infrastructure and current projects.
Until now the vast array of information on the sector - including details on infrastructure and supply chain development as well as innovation and skills - was held in a variety of different websites and publications. The new portal will allow all of this important information to be accessed within just a few clicks.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond officially launched the portal on Wednesday 18 May at All Energy, the UK's largest renewable energy conference and exhibition.
Mr Salmond said: "Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. By then we intend to be generating twice as much electricity as Scotland needs - just over half of it from renewables, and just under half from other conventional sources.
"We will be exporting as much electricity as we consume. So we will continue to work with industry and governments at local, UK and European level to build on what we have achieved. We will now move still further and faster to secure our place as the green energy powerhouse of the continent of Europe.
"Offshore wind will play a key role in achieving our ambitions so I'm delighted to announce the launch today of Scotland's offshore wind portal. The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have developed offshorewindscotland.org.uk - a single site showcasing what Scotland has to offer to both indigenous industry and new investors in this rapidly emerging sector."
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise said: "Scotland's economic development agencies have prioritised the offshore renewables sector, and are working hand-in-hand with industry to understand their requirements and to put in place the necessary supports to ensure we fully maximise the benefits for Scotland.
"The development of this new resource highlights the significant potential offered by this exciting and vibrant sector. Scotland has a real opportunity to drive forward the actions required to ensure the success of the industry."
Lena Wilson, Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise said: "Scotland's offshore wind industry is a key area of future growth. It is based on our unrivalled natural resources, competitive business environment, world leading academic and industrial research and rich experience from offshore oil and gas exploration.
"The implementation of the industry led offshore wind strategy is delivering many success stories for Scotland and this portal, offshorewindscotland.org.uk, is a great example of that strategy and true collaboration in action. It is a major step for Scotland in providing a well connected, one stop information shop, for the offshore wind sector to further grow and develop."
Notes to editors:
The new offshore wind portal www.offshorewindscotland.org.uk, is aimed at businesses and individuals and has been developed in consultation with the wider industry and other key public sector partners. It includes a DVD, case studies, news stories and an interactive map showing the offshore wind sites, key infrastructure and current projects.
It is a partnership project, developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government.