Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024
Friday 14 June 2024
 9.9°C   ESE Strong Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Energy / Fishing industry feels the squeeze but more offshore wind likely

Image: Crown Estate Scotland

THE LOCAL fishing industry is breathing a sigh of relief after no offshore wind farm projects as part of the INTOG licensing round came forward for designated areas around Shetland.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) said the isles’ rich fishing grounds were already under pressure enough as a result of “unchecked expansion of offshore wind”.

Earlier this week, Crown Estate Scotland announced 13 successful applicants for projects intended to cut carbon emissions of offshore oil and gas production facilities with the help of renewable energy, but they are largely all located in the waters east of Aberdeen.

London based Cerulean Winds had floated the idea of building large offshore wind farms to the west and north of Shetland but ended up never bidding for one of the seven designated areas around the isles.

Instead, Cerulean was successful in securing three so-called exclusivity agreements for wind farms totalling just over three gigawatts in capacity. These could, however, still potentially provide power to oil and gas assets off Shetland.

Meanwhile, the manager of the ORION clean energy project, Gunther Newcombe, said he was not surprised that no projects to east and west of Shetland had come forward.

Orion project manager Gunther Newcombe Photo: Shetland News

That, however, could change should further talks with the new Scottish Government come to fruition.

“The fields to the east of Shetland are all mature and coming to the end of their lives, and to the west of Shetland the new developments weren’t ready for offshore wind,” the former oil industry executive said.

He said the INTOG (Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas) licensing round had 5.5GW of capacity and thus had almost achieved its target of 5.7 GW.

Speaking from Berlin where he attended a net zero conference, Newcombe added: “WhatOrion intends to do is to discuss with the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland and Marine Scotland the potential for realising offshore wind.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Our ambition is to get another 30GW+ of offshore wind to turn the Sullom Voe region into a renewable energy hub, exporting hydrogen and hydrogen derived products.”

Last month EnQuest, the operator of the Sullom Voe Terminal, confirmed it had plans to produce one million tonnes of green hydrogen from the site in the future.

Newcombe added: “Any work that is being done will be done in co-operation with other users of the sea such as the fishermen.”

SFA executive officer Daniel Lawson.

But the SFA’s executive officer Daniel Lawson pointed out that Shetland already had three large offshore wind developments being planned through the Scottish Government’s separate ScotWind process.

“When it comes to reducing carbon emissions from offshore oil and gas production, we’ve seen simpler and more sensible suggestions from energy companies – who have stated a preference to be powered by cable from Shetland’s multiple onshore renewable energy projects,” he said.

And Lawson warned that the approved projects to the east of Aberdeen would close around 1,600 square kilometres of sea and would subsequently have consequences for the isles’ fishing fleet through the displacement of other vessels.

“Fish has among the lowest carbon footprints of any foodstuff, so Shetland’s fishing fleet should be protected – and not forced any further from its traditional grounds,” he said.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.