The Moray Firth has a key opportunity to contribute to the renewables future for the UK as a whole and Scotland in particular. Scotland is uniquely positioned to exploit the opportunity presented by the global commitment to renewable energy and low carbon technology, and has around a quarter of Europe's potential offshore wind resources. Our strong offshore winds provide the ideal conditions for technology which can harness this powerful resource.
The East coast seabed has been identified as a particularly suitable location for the development of offshore wind due to the gently shelving nature of the seabed. Due to its geographical position, the UK is in a prime location within Europe to take advantage of offshore wind power, and half of Europe's wave energy potential is in British waters where there are strong tides and currents. The Scottish Government has made a commitment to a renewable energy future for Scotland.
In September 2010 the Scottish Government announced increased target levels with 80% of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2025. This requires a significant increase to the current capacity of 4GW. In January 2010, the Prime Minister along with The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills joined The Crown Estate to welcome the announcement naming the development partners for UK Round 3 Offshore Wind; potentially the largest infrastructure project in the world.
Two of the nine zones awarded are located outside 12 nautical miles around the coast of Scotland, adjacent to Scottish Territorial Waters (STW). The Moray Firth is Zone 1 and has a target capacity of 1300MW. Together with the Scottish Territorial Waters developments and Zone 2, the Firth of Forth; offshore wind will play a significant part in achieving a greener future for Scotland and the UK as a whole.
The landward area is also likely to see a growth in the number of windfarms surrounding the Moray Firth. Tidal and wave power are still at the experimental stage, but may eventually be developed in parts of the Moray Firth. Read more....