Scottish Secretary confirmed Scotland’s offshore wind potential at 25% of Europe’s in 2013

Michael Kevin Moore, Scottish Secretary 29 May 2010 – 7 October 2013

Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland (1 August, 2013): ‘Scotland’s offshore wind potential estimated at 25% of Europe’s’

By stewartb

The Unionists in the These Islands ‘think tank’ are very excited: they’ve found that a statistic is dodgy – or at least that the research on which it is based is open to question, re-intepretation or revision? It concerns Scotland’s offshore wind energy potential relative to Europe’s.


In a lengthy account, the These Islands’ article states, based on third party data from two reports published in 2009 and 2010, that: ‘So, in 2010, the Scottish Government definitely had a robust (and, at the time, bang up to date) estimate which put Scotlands share of the potential UK resource (fixed plus floating) at … = 36%’.

And it adds: ’So what the Scottish Government should have said in 2010 was that Scotland had about 6% (36% of 16%) of the potential Europe-wide offshore wind resource.’ (my emphasis)

For some perspective and based on a very quick online search:

From the online specialist publication Energy Voice on 6 February 2018 ( )

’S… C…. , policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: Scotland is home to approximately 25% of Europes offshore wind resource and we are now starting to build out projects which will harness this potential.’

And also from Energy Voice, from 9 October, 2019 in an article entitled ‘What is the real opportunity for floating offshore wind in Scotland?

Here the journalist, identified as the ‘renewable energy report’, writes: ‘A few months ago I was asked during a television interview what the next five to 10 years could look like for Scottish offshore wind. I wasnt expecting the question and, grappling for an answer, said there was a real opportunity for Scotland to capitalise on the floating wind market.

‘At the time it seemed a reasonable response, given that Equinors nine-turbine Hywind Scotland project off the coast of Peterhead had recently reported record generation and the Kincardine Floating Offshore Wind Farm had that week started construction.

‘But was it a glib answer? What is the real opportunity for floating offshore wind in Scotland? The Garrad Hassan report announced in 2001 that Scotland has 25% of the overall offshore wind resource capability in Europe – no small figure given the size of the country.

‘But of all the countries in the world, Scotland has the greatest chance to realise its sizable offshore wind capability, with Aberdeen considered to be the natural choice of base due to its relationship with the oil and gas sector.’

So far so slightly interesting? The next quote (in a screen shot below) is from an official press statement issued by the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland dated 1 August 2013. It’s entitled ‘UK Governments strategy to boost Scotlands offshore wind sector’. Whilst reading it recall the claim by These Island’s that the Scottish Government should have been aware of the problematic nature of the 25% claim as early as 2010. I then invite you to ‘smile’!

In the context of the foregoing, I particularly like the last bit: ‘Scotlands potential … is very well established!


Just for further context, the Offshore Wind Industry Council, a UK Government and industry forum, has recently published e-learning modules on the offshore wind industry. In Module 1 entitled ‘The History of Offshore Wind in the UK’ we learn that: ‘The UK has the greatest wind energy potential in Europe ..’  Whatever the ‘right’ figure is, offshore Scotland’s potential will still be relatively substantial in UK and in European terms!


These Islands claim: ‘A realistic, up-to-date, estimate of Scotlands share of the potential European offshore wind resource is 4 – 6%. Still an impressive figure, but nowhere near the 25% which the Scottish Government has been claiming.’ (Hopefully someone will fact check this claim …. for obvious reasons!)

The population of the European Union is c. 447 million. Let’s include Norway, and we get a Europe with a population of c. 452 million. Scotland with a population of c. 5.5 million i.e. just 1.2% the size of Europe’s population, has access to indigenous offshore wind energy potential 4-6% the size of Europe’s potential according to These Islands. That is indeed (still) impressive and important. Tidal energy estimates anyone?


7 thoughts on “Scottish Secretary confirmed Scotland’s offshore wind potential at 25% of Europe’s in 2013

  1. c2012, the Vice Chancellor and Principal of Strathclyde University, Jim MacDonald, made a presentation to the Glasgow Philosophical Society. The topic was renewable energy and he, an engineer by profession had chaired a group on behalf of the Scottish Government into the energy options for Scotland. One of the pieces of data he quoted was that Scotland, including its territorial waters, contained 25% of the potential energy from renewable sources for the entire continent of Europe.

    So, this particular datum has been in the public domain for at least a decade.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Having tried to make sense of These Islands report I will not be checking the accuracy of their claim that Scotland’s offshore potential is between four and six percent of the European total.
      Their report fails at the first hurdle as it id based on a comparison of only two sources that were by their calculations able to produce a figure that could be used as the basis of their real objective – to prove that the Scottish Government continued to use the 25% figure for years knowing that it was an exaggeration of the true figure.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have it from several respectable sources that These Islands produces 25% of the propaganda sh*te produced in Europe each year , although Kevin Hague claims that it is closer to 6% .

    Liked by 3 people

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