‘Alex Salmond’s Saudi Arabia of Wind’ not so funny now

The Herald in October 2020

In September 2007(!), Alex Salmond was attributed with the Saudi Arabia of Wind claim. In fact, according to the FT:

Scotland has been estimated to have 25 per cent of all Europe’s wind; it is the “Saudi Arabia of wind”, as Scottish Renewables, the industry association, has described it.


Of course the MSM at the time and more recently, such as the Herald only 2 years ago, ignored the source and used the claim to attack the SNP.

Today, as Scotland’s MSM focus on the environmental threats posed by the new North Sea oil and gas exploration licences announced recently, they are ignoring dramatic research news suggesting Scotland can become an energy powerhouse and predicting increased revenue of £34 billion and 385 000 new jobs by 2050.

In a report titled The Economic Opportunity for Scotland from Renewable Energy & Green Technology by Dr David Skilling, there are also shorter-term forecasts such as this for 2030:

Looking forward, there are aggressive plans for building renewable energy capacity. Offshore wind will become the dominant category in Scotland: from a current installed base of ~1GW, there are another~7GW of projects (net) in the current pipeline, and 25GW of ScotWind bids. By the late-2030s, it is possible that there could be ~26GW of offshore wind capacity – making Scotland a significant player in the global industry. Approximate estimates indicate that this would generate average annual GVA of about £4.5 billion and about 21,000 total jobs.



7 thoughts on “‘Alex Salmond’s Saudi Arabia of Wind’ not so funny now

  1. Remember back, when Britnat pundits, politicos and Murdo, railed against wind power?
    At that same time, when Alec Salmond was scouring the globe for companies to build the infrastructure, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson were in North-East England signing blank checks to encourage Siemens and Co to set up in England.
    Scotland has been shafted by the UK since the very start, and if we had a real media we would be talking about it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Do not forget the enormous potential of tidal power
    Especially the Pentland firth
    Tis Westminster holding this back
    Upon Indy the large Multi Nationals will salivating at the prospects
    Technically Scotland has cracked the engineering problems
    But how does one crack the grid connections and inter connectors across the N.Sea
    Unleash us and watch Nuclear be batted out the park
    We are the New Saudi Arabia and not just of wind
    But renewable
    Westminster knows this all too well, but dare not speak of as we all too well know what they done with our vast resources of all and gas
    The energy crisis which ain’t going away anytime soon now has Westminster
    In the classic Catch 22 situation
    Dammed if they unleash it
    Dammed if they hold it back
    The SNP at their conference should let rip about all this
    Take the gloves off and punch hard below the belt
    The winner takes it all
    Spook the horses allright
    But only the ones in the Unionists stables
    Take back control and do it NOW

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As usual in the UK,political decisions determine economic activity.
    The reluctance of London governments to invest in renewables is based on the premise that under no circumstances must England be seen to be reliant on Scotland.
    They managed to fool Scots in 2014 into believing that the oil was running out and any dependence on Scottish resources would be short lived.
    The message was that in the longer term Scotland would need to continue being baled out by England.
    The problem they have with that message as it relates to renewables is that it is not going to run out and Scotland is and will be completely self sufficient in energy supply.
    Going forward Scotland will not need eco hostile fossil fuels or mega expensive nuclear power stations.
    England on the other hand will.
    These are largely political decisions Made in England for England.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Two points:
    1. Mr Salmond was an energy economist for RBS before going into politics full-time, so he did understand the economic potential;
    2. Around that time I attended a meeting of the Glasgow Philosophical Society addressed by the then Vice Principal of Strathclyde University who stated that “Scotland has 25% of the renewable energy potential of the entire (sic) continent of Europe.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Sometimes one can juxtapose economic forecasts that should convince voters to take such judgements when expressed with certainty with a large pinch of salt. Forecasts associated with oil & gas especially fall into this category. For interest – and ‘amusement’ – here are quotes from two articles published in the online magazine, oilprice.com .

    Headline, 7 September 2017: ‘The North Sea Oil Recovery Is Dead In The Water’.

    Firstly, the positives about the North Sea: ‘The oil majors say they have overhauled their cost structures in the region, making production profitable in today’s $50 market, even when the region struggled to be profitable with a $100 oil price a few years back. BP SAYS COSTS OF (sic) HALVED TO JUST $15 PER BARREL.’ (my emphasis)

    But then the doom: ‘So, far from a boon for the country, the North Sea is in danger of becoming “a significant annual expenditure for government, RATHER THAN A PROVIDER OF INCOME” in the decades to come, according to a Wood Mackenzie assessment from earlier this year.’

    Fast forward to the headline in oilprice.com dated 29 September, 2022: ‘The Idea Of A Windfall Tax On Oil And Gas Is Gaining Popularity’

    ‘Earlier this year, the U.K. government announced it would be introducing a windfall tax on oil and gas companies operating in the U.K. to alleviate the pressure on consumers. The Labour party proposed such a tax early on, suggesting the government could raise $1.3 billion to provide consumers with subsidies on their home energy bills.

    ‘The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak agreed to introduce an energy profits levy (EPL) in May, to tax oil and gas companies on their earnings – which have significantly increased in recent months. The EPL could be in place until the end of 2025 and AIMS TO RAISE $5.43 BILLION as part of a broader $16.3 billion consumer support package.’

    So a provider of $5.43 billion of income to the UK government – a significant ‘boon’ perhaps? Quite a turn around from that 2017 sentiment. And quite a turnaround from 2014 forecasts too!

    Liked by 2 people

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