Scottish first minister Alex Salmond has launched a £70 million (€80.1 million; $112.5 million) offshore windfarm investment fund to strengthen port and manufacturing facilities and leverage significant private sector investment in the next four years.
The National Renewables Infrastructure Fund, launched by the minister at a renewable energy conference in Glasgow, aims to create around 28,000 jobs and generating £7.1 billion for the country’s economy, a press release said. It also aims at supplying provision for manufacturing offshore wind turbines and related components.
The fund will be delivered through a partnership between Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise. Both the government-sponsored bodies will work with site owners and public sector partners to develop key locations in order to attract offshore wind investors, according to the official statement.
“Our National Renewables Infrastructure Plan has already established the most immediate needs. Together with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, we are determined to stimulate the market and act decisively to trigger vital capital investment and launch the next phase of Scotland’s renewables revolution,” the minister said.
The minister also called for the UK government to make money available for renewable projects from the £191 million Fossil Fuel Levy.
“The Scottish Parliament has condemned the UK government’s refusal to give unrestricted access to Scotland’s £191m Fossil Fuel Levy funds,” he said.
More than 7,000 offshore wind turbines are expected to be constructed off the UK’s coast over the next 10 years, the statement said.
Last month UK prime minister David Cameron announced £60 million of government funding to establish world-class offshore wind and manufacturing at ports and to help secure private sector investment in this field. Cameron also launched a £200 billion National Infrastructure Plan, funding for which is expected to come from both public and private sectors.