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Energy transition opportunities in Scotland

With the growing shift away from fossil fuels, Scotland can help companies to transition from non-renewable energy sources to more sustainable solutions. We have big opportunities for international investors, particularly in offshore wind, carbon capture, energy storage, hydrogen, and decarbonisation of heat and transport.

Did you know?

Scotland is home to the world’s first community-owned tidal array, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, and one of Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleets. As part of the move to a cleaner energy future, SSE Thermal and Equinor are developing a project at Peterhead that aims to be the world’s first gas-fired power station equipped with carbon capture storage technology.*

  • Unrivalled natural resources

    Scotland is the windbreak of Europe, with 3.4GW of offshore wind already operational or under construction as of November 2022.

  • Network of renewable energy experts

    Scotland has a large energy research group, including many renewable energy scientists, engineers and academics.

  • Impressive project pipeline

    30GW of Scotwind projects proposed for development, including 19.3GW of floating wind and a further 5.4GW in the proposed INTOG round.**

*Read about the Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station opens in a new window on the SSE Thermal website

**The Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round is a process through which developers will be able to apply for the rights to build offshore wind farms specifically for the purpose of providing low carbon electricity to help decarbonise the sector. - Crown Estate Scotland

  • World-leading climate change targets

    Scotland's targets include:

    • the equivalent of 50% of Scotland’s total energy demand (electricity, heat and transport) to be supplied by renewable sources by 2030
    • Net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

    Scotland's net zero future

    In choosing Scotland, you’ll be supported and guided by our world-leading climate change targets, which demonstrate our commitment to a net zero future.

    We’ve already made great strides in our transition away from fossil fuels. In 2020, an estimated 97.4% of Scotland's gross electricity consumption came from renewables.

    While hydrogen-powered transport is the catalyst and early enabler for the oil and gas transition towards net zero, Scotland’s vision is much grander than that. Scotland has a huge range of skills, assets and industry knowledge that can be transferred to a net zero future.

    Scotland remains the best-placed country in Europe to realise carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) on a commercial scale. The creation of a world-leading Energy Transition Zone, backed by more than £26 million of Scottish Government investment and supported by Scottish Enterprise, will accelerate the delivery of net zero solutions and secure a strong economic future built on offshore wind, hydrogen, and CCUS.

    Scotland has 12,000km of coastline and more than 790 islands. With our abundant resources, outstanding locations, exceptional experience, unrivalled government support and world-class research and development facilities, we're leading the world in renewables.

    Investing in Scotland means access to potential capital contracts worth tens of billions of pounds, as well as huge export revenue possibilities.

Scotland's green energy opportunity

Boasting one of Europe’s largest offshore Renewable Energy Zones, Scotland is a natural location for your offshore wind project. We're already leading the way in offshore wind development, with almost 3.4 gigawatts (GW) already operational or under construction and up to 6.7GW in the pipeline, and we’re ensuring this huge market continues to boom.

30GW of Scotwind projects are proposed for development, including 19.3GW of floating wind and a further 5.4GW in the proposed Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) leasing round.

The INTOG leasing round is a process through which developers will be able to apply for the rights to build offshore wind farms specifically for the purpose of providing low carbon electricity to power oil and gas installations and help to decarbonise the sector. It also provides an opportunity to enable small-scale (less than 100MW) innovation projects, including alternative outputs such as hydrogen.

In addition, the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal aims to deliver 50GW of offshore wind in the UK by 2030 by running regular Contracts for Difference auctions - these are the UK’s mechanism for supporting low carbon generation.

As a world's top 10 offshore wind market, Scotland’s enormous project pipeline is creating opportunities for:

  • Innovative floating wind technologies
  • Substructures
  • Mooring systems
  • Large castings and forgings
  • Turbine blades
  • Electrical substations
  • Export and array cable manufacturing
  • Construction and associated supply chains

Paul O’Brien, Scotland’s leading DeepWind cluster expert, shares his insights about how Scotland is at the forefront of the 5th Industrial Revolution.

More on Scotland's offshore wind opportunity 

With heat currently the single largest source of our emissions, the scale of the low carbon heat opportunity in Scotland is enormous, presenting immediate opportunities in heat pumps and heat networks.

By choosing Scotland, you’ll benefit from strong government support that will drive the growth of low carbon heating, including £1.8 billion of funding over the next five years to ensure we reach our ambitious heat targets.

By 2024 all new homes in Scotland must use zero emissions heat, and all local authorities must have a local heat and energy efficiency plan.

In the UK, nearly all homes, businesses, commercial and public sector buildings need to switch to a zero-emissions heating system by 2045. To achieve this, an estimated 600,000 heat pumps are aiming to be installed annually by 2028 and up to 1.9 million annually by the mid-2030s.

By locating here, you’ll unlock a huge market in Scotland and the UK and gain an early mover advantage for heat pump manufacturing, components, installation and servicing, as well as piping components, metering, smart controls and systems integration.

Doreen Reid, our Low Carbon Energy Transition Specialist outlines Scotland’s approach to the challenges and opportunities of decarbonising heat. 

More on Scotland's low carbon heat opportunity 

Scotland is forging ahead in the commercial development of hydrogen. £100 million will be pumped into Scotland’s hydrogen industry over the next five years to achieve the Scottish Government's hydrogen economy vision opens in a new window .

You’ll find that our supportive policy environment, advanced capabilities in hydrogen research and development (R&D), extensive energy, maritime and offshore infrastructure and skilled workforce have created opportunities in:

  • Large-scale green and blue hydrogen production
  • Hydrogen electrolyser manufacturing
  • Hydrogen storage, conversion and distribution
  • End-use appliances
  • Exporting hydrogen

Scotland is committed to becoming a world-leading hydrogen nation and major exporter, with abundant energy resources able to serve emerging markets in northern and central Europe.

By locating in Scotland, you could be part of this booming market from the get-go, helping us realise our ambition of 5GW of clean hydrogen production by 2030 and 25GW by 2045.

There are several energy transition hubs emerging across Scotland, including Cromarty Firth Energy Hub and the Orion project in Shetland. These hubs are starting to demonstrate the scale of the opportunity and Scotland’s potential role in the large-scale production and supply of hydrogen.

Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (PARC) is the complete redevelopment of the 320-acre deep-water port and marine yard on Scotland’s North Ayrshire coast.

The PARC’s Centre for New Industry and New Energy (C-NINE) is attracting innovative commercial ventures and applying new scientific solutions to address important challenges such as the conversion of plastic to new products and hydrogen.

The PARC is also seeking investment for the development and ongoing management of new power generation facilities that target renewable and transitional technologies such as waste-to-energy, hydrogen, biomass and other feedstocks.

Green investment opportunity at Hunterston PARC 

Scotland is a first mover and test bed for innovative hydrogen energy solutions that will help to decarbonise transport systems and reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.

Learn more about Scotland's hydrogen energy opportunity 

Scotland’s oil and gas industry will play a key role in delivering a net zero future. Our experience, expertise and capability have already been instrumental in fast-tracking our deployment of offshore wind and other renewable energy sources.

You’ll now find unique opportunities for investment and innovation as we begin to decarbonise our oil and gas assets and infrastructure.

The UK oil and gas sector is committed to a net zero North Sea, with tough emission reduction targets of 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2040. This means you can benefit from exciting opportunities in:

  • Platform electrification in the INTOG leasing round (from offshore renewables)
  • Reductions in flaring and venting
  • Digital data management
  • Data-centric execution and operations
  • Operational efficiency and emissions reduction from power generation on offshore infrastructure

Offshore electrification and the integration of offshore energy systems into energy hubs will be key to expanding our offshore renewables, particularly floating wind, as well as accelerating carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) opportunities.

By repurposing elements of our natural gas production and processing infrastructure, you could produce blue hydrogen at scale and help us with our aim to decarbonise 30% of the UK’s natural gas supply by 2050.

David Rennie, our Head of Low Carbon Energy, explores the challenges and benefits of this transition.

  • Energy systems

    Scotland has immediate opportunities across our energy systems supply chain - from hydrogen and energy networks to low carbon heat and transport. 

  • Low carbon transport

    Learn about Scotland's sustainable decarbonised transport infrastructure and supply chain plan and how they'll help us meet our net zero emissions target by 2045.

  • Wave and tidal

    Orbital Marine Power is turning the tide on climate change by building the world’s most powerful and technologically advanced tidal turbine. An exciting growth equity investment opportunity has arisen to accelerate the scale-up of the business in Scotland.

  • Wave and tidal

    Orbital Marine Power is turning the tide on climate change by building the world’s most powerful and technologically advanced tidal turbine. An exciting growth equity investment opportunity has arisen to accelerate the scale-up of the business in Scotland.

A pipeline of pioneering projects

Scotland, the natural choice for blue and green economies.

You’ll find a strong pipeline of ambitious energy projects in Scotland that will help us transition to a net zero future, including:

  • H100 – the world’s first 100% green hydrogen-to-homes gas network will generate green hydrogen using a nearby offshore wind turbine linked to an electrolyser. This will then feed into a purpose-built hydrogen gas network to heat local homes and businesses.
  • ACORN – the world’s first at-scale, full-chain blue hydrogen production facility will generate blue hydrogen from North Sea natural gas from 2026, with CO2 emissions safely mitigated through CCUS infrastructure.
  • Whitelee Green Hydrogen – this ground-breaking project will connect the UK’s largest onshore wind farm to the UK’s largest electrolyser (20MW). This is part of a green hydrogen facility and a combined solar and battery energy storage scheme with a capacity of up to 90MW.
  • Project North Sea – this 300MW oil and gas energy transition project will use a floating wind farm to power a major oil and gas platform and export significant amounts of excess electricity to the national grid through its grid connection.
  • AMIDS 5G Heat Network – an innovative low-carbon energy system in Scotland’s advanced manufacturing district will feature a cutting-edge 5G ambient loop heat network and large-scale heat pump.

High-value manufacturing

Scotland is investing in infrastructure, innovation and skills initiatives in our drive to become a global leader in high-value manufacturing for energy transition. Flagship facilities to help take your business to the next level include:

More about innovation in Scotland  

Miller Fabrications, Wishaw

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  • Renewable energy skills

    Jim Brown, Director of ESP, shares his thoughts on how Scotland is reshaping its energy skills landscape to meet the challenge and opportunity, across the UK and globally.

Get the latest updates from Scotland’s renewables and energy industries

Need help?

If you have a question about energy and low carbon opportunities in Scotland, our team of advisers can help.