Comment: shining light on Scotland’s energy potential

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EUROPE’S ‘Energy Capital’ is used to welcoming the world – after all, Scottish skills in the long-established oil and gas industries are always hot property.

This week, though, it’s the winds whistling down Aberdeen’s granite streets which are drawing an audience.

Constructing an off-shore wind farm

Constructing an off-shore wind farm

Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind Conference – the largest of its kind in the country – blows into town tomorrow and, at the AECC, we’re already hard at work putting the event together.

Highlights of day one include a ministerial address from Energy Minister Fergus Ewing and speakers from SSE Renewables, Gamesa, Areva, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Repsol and Seagreen.

Day two starts early, at 7am, with Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce’s breakfast. Despite the early hour of day, the breakfast is always a well-attended session, and this year will hear from Iain Todd of Aberdeen Renewables Energy Group and the Met Office’s Alex Hill, Chief Advisor to Government for Scotland and Northern Ireland. They’ll talk about taking offshore wind in Scotland from concept to reality, with Iain touching on developments with the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay and Alex discussing the direction in which his organisation’s oil and gas expertise is now being channelled.

The potential of the offshore wind sector – Scotland is thought to have a quarter of Europe’s resource – is such that the Offshore Wind Conference is always one of our most well-attended events.

Developments in 2014 will hopefully mean next year’s event will take a slightly different tone as we anticipate the first consents coming through and that more branches of the supply chain will have been established.

We’re looking forward to plenty of debate, discussion and deals over the next two days, with one-to-one spaces still available at the developer-supply chain Share Fair and dinner at wonderful Marcliffe Hotel on Tuesday evening.

If you’re into renewables, it’d be great to see you there.

• Lindsay Leask is a Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables