This week, the Scottish offshore wind industry got a boost when a scheme to lease portions of Scotland’s seabed for wind farm construction collected just under £700 million (about $952 million).
According to Crown Estate Scotland, a public organization that controls the country’s shoreline and seabed, 74 lease applications were submitted, with 17 of them being approved, CNBC reports.
ScotWind, the initiative, raised £699.2 million, or around $951 million. The payments would be “passed on to the Scottish Government for public expenditure,” according to Crown Estate Scotland.
The projected facilities have a capacity of 24,826 megawatts. To put that sum into perspective, the trade organization RenewableUK reports that the United Kingdom’s operating capacity for offshore wind is slightly over 10,463 MW. According to the US Department of Energy, capacity refers to “the quantity of power a generator can create while it is operating at full blast.”
BP Alternative Energy Investments, SSE Renewables, Vattenfall, ScottishPower Renewables, and Shell are among the successful candidates.
Doug Parr, policy director at Greenpeace UK, was among those who commented on the lease round. “It is critical for the economy and the environment that these projects go easily to completion, and the income produced must be channeled towards hastening the UK’s transition to renewable energy,” he added.
Other reactions to the news highlight some of the challenges governments around the world face when attempting to find a balance between developing large-scale clean energy projects and protecting other sectors of the economy.