Scotland is to kick off a mapping exercise for the future development of the floating offshore wind sector off the coast of the country.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse told the inaugural Floating Offshore Wind UK conference in Glasgow today that Marine Scotland will start scoping as part of an emerging strategic framework for the young industry.

The Holyrood minister repeated promises that floating wind would be included in the country’s new energy strategy, which is due before the end of the year.

He said Edinburgh is keen to “maintain Scotland’s leading position in floating offshore wind”, adding that the sector “is incredibly important for us”.

Wheelhouse called on the UK government to support the floating sector “now, right now”, and argued for it to be included in a proposed 10GW of new generation planned around the UK in the 2020s.

The minister also announced that Holyrood was kicking off a second phase of the ongoing joint industry project for floating wind with an eye to de-risking and accelerating commercial development and deployment.

He told delegates it would be “short-sighted and and self-defeating” if the sector failed to progress following its positive start at projects, such as Statoil and Masdar’s 30MW Hywind Scotland facility in the Buchan Deep.

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