Scottish Renewables to establish offshore wind team

Colin Palmer, currently Director of Marine at Crown Estate Scotland

SCOTTISH RENEWABLES is forming a dedicated team for offshore wind, led by Colin Palmer, Director of Marine at Crown Estate Scotland, starting February 2024.

Colin Palmer, currently Director of Marine at Crown Estate Scotland, will spearhead Scottish Renewables’ new four-member team dedicated to the offshore wind sector. The team aims to facilitate and expedite the development of offshore wind farms in Scotland’s seas.

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Palmer’s team will also play a pivotal role in supporting Scottish Renewables’ involvement in coordinating the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council (SOWEC) Barriers to Deployment group. The offshore wind sector faces challenges in consent processes, power utilisation, including green hydrogen production, and access to the electricity network.

“Scotland has a genuine opportunity to be a global leader in this area,” affirms Claire Mack, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables.  The move coincides with the continued expansion of Scottish Renewables’ membership, reflecting the industry’s transition from oil and gas to renewables. The organisation’s relocation to sustainable offices in Glasgow earlier this year aligns with its commitment to a greener future.

Colin Palmer, the newly appointed Director of Offshore, brings over 20 years of experience in the renewable energy industry. Notable achievements include leading the development phase of the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm and contributing to the consent of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm.

Palmer’s leadership at Crown Estate Scotland has been instrumental in ScotWind and INTOG leasing rounds, demonstrating a focus on enabling offshore wind development in collaboration with stakeholders. “The offshore wind sector in Scotland has an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a large-scale increase in generation capacity and transform the UK’s electricity supply,” states Palmer.

With Scotland boasting the world’s largest floating offshore wind pipeline and multiple gigawatts of fixed-bottom offshore wind in the pipeline, Palmer envisions Scotland as a global leader in offshore wind.

The offshore team will complement Scottish Renewables’ existing Policy team, with Senior Policy Manager Mark Richardson transitioning to cover offshore wind.

Scottish Renewables, representing over 320 organisations in renewable energy, has seen a nearly 40% increase in membership since the ScotWind offshore wind leasing process. The majority of this surge comes from supply chain SMEs diversifying from oil and gas into renewable energy.

“There are significant challenges ahead but I’m certain that the expertise and influence Scottish Renewables has will help tackle these issues and deliver our ambitions for Scotland’s offshore wind sector.” Palmer said. 

The ScotWind Leasing process, announced in 2022, resulted in 20 offshore wind projects receiving seabed option agreements, totaling up to 27.6GW. Initial supply chain commitments indicate an average investment of £1.5 billion in Scotland per project built.

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