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Scotland-Germany green energy deal will accelerate innovation


By Calum MacLeod

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Dan Finch
Dan Finch

Renewable energy industry groups in Scotland and Germany are joining forces to boost the production of both offshore wind energy and green hydrogen.

The north of Scotland’s offshore wind cluster organisation, DeepWind, has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its German counterpart, WAB.

DeepWind is an industry-led cluster, initiated in 2019 by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in partnership with Scottish Enterprise with offshore wind developer Ocean Winds as the industry champion.

It now has more than 450 members, including 22 developers, which is unique in the UK and reflects the level of interest in deploying Scotland’s significant energy expertise into offshore renewables.

Both clusters will now collaborate on initiatives relating to the production of offshore wind and its use in producing renewable electricity for green hydrogen generation.

It will provide networking and matchmaking opportunities for supply chain companies in each cluster.

WAB and DeepWind will exchange and analyse information, experiences and insights and inform each other about progress in joint projects. The aim is to boost the renewable energy industry and benefit supply chains in both countries.

Scotland has a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind resource, creating some of the best conditions in Europe for large scale green hydrogen production.

Signing the memorandum of understanding for DeepWind was Dan Finch, UK country manager for Ocean Winds, who said: “We’re on the cusp of an exciting opportunity for the North Sea to play an even more central role in the UK and European clean energy mix. Ocean Winds is delighted to support DeepWind and this MoU to unlock the potential for growth through collaboration.

“Overseas market entry can be a difficult move for SMEs, which form the bulk of the DeepWind cluster membership. This MoU with WAB will form one of the strands of support to reduce and remove barriers to entry for cluster companies able to establish partnerships or identify gaps in local provision.

“Closer working between the two clusters could also highlight and accelerate opportunities for innovation in offshore wind and green hydrogen production between Scotland and Germany.”

Heike Winkler, WAB managing director, said: “We noticed a lot of common ground between WAB and DeepWind cluster members during our delegation visit to Aberdeen earlier this year and we are looking forward to deepening our cooperation.

“As an innovation cluster organisation, we have been supporting our member companies since 2002 related to industrial development of on- and offshore wind energy. We believe that our members will bring valuable experience in developing offshore wind power and ‘green’ hydrogen to this partnership and that our collaboration initiative will be beneficial to both sides.”

Scotland’s energy minister, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, welcomed the partnership, which he said would boost the renewable energy industry and benefit supply chains in both Scotland and Germany.

“We’ve already supported a number of world-leading hydrogen demonstration projects in Scotland and our forthcoming Hydrogen Assessment will set out our capabilities and potential in the emerging European and global hydrogen economies and flag up the scale of opportunities that can be harnessed for supply chain development," he continued.

“This agreement has the potential to develop new economic opportunities for both Scotland and Germany and to grow the offshore wind and hydrogen sectors more quickly. It will strengthen the commercial relationship between our two countries and support our joint efforts to achieve a net-zero emissions future.”

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