WITH the latest developments in Scotland’s offshore wind industry, our renewables revolution is powering ahead.

Billions will be invested in high-quality green jobs and Scotland’s just transition to net zero, as 17 new offshore wind projects got the go-ahead this week

The new projects have the potential to generate 25 gigawatts of clean, green energy. For perspective, the current capacity is almost 2GW – and another 8.4GW in construction or advanced development.

Scotland’s biggest existing offshore wind farm – Moray East, in the outer Moray Firth – is Scotland’s single largest source of renewable energy and has a capacity of 0.95GW (950 megawatts). This is enough to power about 650,000 homes.

Taken together, these new offshore wind projects approved through ScotWind could power more than 20 times that.

Scotland has around 25 per cent of Europe’s entire offshore wind potential and is fast becoming the centre for renewable energy innovation – with the world’s first floating wind farm being installed in Scotland in 2017.

We’ve already made huge strides in decarbonising Scotland’s energy consumption, with over 95 per cent of Scotland’s gross electricity demand being met by renewable sources.

This announcement marks a big step on our path to net zero, helping us reach the target of 50 per cent overall energy consumption from renewables by 2030.

This is a transformational investment for the Scottish economy. In addition to the massive environmental benefits, the ScotWind auction generates around £700 million being delivered straight to the Scottish Government.

On top of that, these projects will generate billions of pounds worth of supply chain investment in Scotland – £1 billion of investment for every 1GW of capacity.

It puts Scotland at the forefront of global offshore wind development and will help position Scotland as a major exporter of renewable energy.

This has the ability to create thousands of high-quality, green jobs. The developers of the offshore wind projects committed to invest in the Scottish supply chain – which means opportunities for good, green jobs in Scotland for decades to come.

I will be hosting a seminar in the spring looking at maximising the potential jobs opportunities, supply chain development and manufacturing opportunities for East Lothian businesses. All major renewables providers, skills agencies, enterprise agencies and the council have agreed to attend.

This is a major opportunity for East Lothian which I look forward to delivering on.