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Energy Secretary says ScotWind leasing round could support just transition for north-east oil and gas workers

By David Porter

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The ScotWind leasing auction has seen 17 applications considered for new developments.
The ScotWind leasing auction has seen 17 applications considered for new developments.

The ScotWind leasing auction could help provide a pathway to a Just Transition for north-east oil and gas workers, according to the Scottish Government.

The Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said it was important to “maximise the skills and knowledge” in the oil and gas sector.

It comes after Crown Estate Scotland announced the outcome this week of its application process for ScotWind leasing with 17 projects covering a total of 7000km2 which were chosen in the first such leasing round in a decade.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin asked Mr Matheson, during a Ministerial Statement on the £700million, how it would support workers in high-carbon sectors.

Ms Martin said: “This announcement unlocks certainty for developers, operators and the supply chain.

"It is a huge investment that will create thousands of jobs.

“Now that we have that certainty, how will we ensure a smooth transition for those working in high-carbon sectors such as oil and gas who want their future to be in renewables?”

In response, the Cabinet Secretary Mr Matheson said: “One of the outcomes from the ScotWind leasing round has been the number of oil and gas companies who have moved into the renewables sector.

“There is an opportunity for those who are presently employed in high-carbon industries to transition into the renewables sector.

“It is important that we maximise the skills and knowledge in our oil and gas sector to support that transition and the build-out of the projects that have secured leasing options through ScotWind.

“I assure the member that we want to make sure that there is a just transition for people who work in our oil and gas sector, and ScotWind provides a pathway to help to achieve that.”

Commenting, Gillian Martin MSP said: “There is huge potential for economic growth, new business and jobs in Scotland over the next decade as a result of this investment.

“ScotWind is a tremendous vote of confidence in our renewable energy ambitions, with 17 projects and a combined generating capacity of 25GW.

“This will secure investment in the Scottish supply chain of at least £1 billion for every GW of power.

“We must also ensure the huge breadth of talent that exists in the oil and gas industry is given the opportunity to be part of a Just Transition.

"We have a huge wealth of talent, knowledge and expertise in the north-east and we must ensure that is utilised.

“It is clear the Cabinet Secretary agrees with me on this issue and I look forward to discussing with him further how people in my constituency and the surrounding area can be supported in the next month or so when the findings of a survey I launched into this exact issue are published.”

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