Scotland is blessed with 25% of the EU's offshore wind and tidal energy potential and this can translate into jobs and investment in the years ahead. Offshore wind alone could bring an estimated £30 billion of inward investment into Scotland and could support up to 28,000 directly related jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs in Scotland by 2020.
The Marine Energy Action Plan, published on 21 June 2012, shows significant progress since 2009, including exclusivity agreements to develop 1.6 GW of marine energy capacity off the north Scottish coast in the world's first commercial wave and tidal leasing round.
An independent Scotland will continue to operate in a single Great Britain-wide integrated market – after all, England will need Scottish renewables if it is to meet its climate targets and guarantee electricity supply. Scotland provides 40% of the UK’s renewables – making a significant contribution to the UK’s legally binding EU renewables targets.
Business is preparing for more Scottish electricity exports – Ofgem has announced a fast tracking of £7billion grid upgrades in Scotland to boost capacity, creating 1,500 new jobs.
As David Kennedy, UK Government adviser and chief executive of the Independent Committee On Climate Change, said on 24 June 2012: “I don’t think it’s the case that we’re just investing in Scotland at the moment because it is part of the UK. My angle is whether you can imagine investment with an independent Scotland and I think yes you can. Scotland would clearly need to export some of its renewable energy and be paid for that by England but the fundamental economics would support that.”