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Scotland’s Renewable Energy Industry Supply Chain Impact Statement 2021, A Snapshot

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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader , Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

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  • Feb 9, 2022
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Beyond Compliance Why local scottish supply chain content makes good business sense There is no question, procuring the sheer volume of products and services required to deliver a renewable energy project is no mean feat. Identifying suppliers with the capabilities, experience and expertise needed to deliver complex scopes of work relies upon skilled procurement teams who must orchestrate project deliverables like a world class symphony. This is especially true as our energy mix begins to shift towards clean technology and as we work to deliver our net-zero goals.

Recent policy development has brought the supply chain further into the spotlight across the energy transition landscape. Support mechanisms, targets and industry recommendations are all driving attention to one imperative point. We must harness the opportunity of local energy transition projects and ensure the associated benefits are realised in Scotland. Local content, however, offers more to projects than just a tick box compliance exercise on the road to meeting contractual obligations. Working with local supply chains offers a whole host of benefits to projects. Advantages that tend to fly under the radar in local content conversations provide a strong business case for cultivating a homegrown supplier network. Below we take a look at the benefits of using local companies and unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of reasons to favour regional transactions. • Control and Efficiency - Selecting a local supplier provides the opportunity for a closer relationship through frequent in-person meetings, site visits and inspections. This enables better collaboration resulting in an all-round streamlined relationship. • Partnership – Close proximity enables buyers to have an increased understanding of their suppliers.

This partnership approach is known to deliver positive project outcomes. • Resilience - Awarding work to local suppliers fundamentally offers more flexibility. Suppliers can be more reactive and responsive to unforeseen demands. • Sustainability – Reduced logistics and travel minimises a projects environmental impact and carbon footprint. Strong relationships forged in local supply chain networks also allow clients to influence supplier policies from a sustainability perspective. • Economic – Local resource is more likely to be employed when using native suppliers. This positively impacts the economy and community. This means the creation of jobs and spending in local shops, cafes, hotels and transport. • Value Add – Using local suppliers can reduce project costs. Whilst it is difficult to compete with contractors in Europe and Asia, local suppliers can add value with their cultural, native knowledge and relationships with other local companies creating a competitive and innovative offering. • Future Proofing – Developing local supply chain capabilities not only sets up those suppliers for supporting future work successfully, it creates a favourable reputation of developers and the industry. • Reduced International Risk – Using local suppliers reduces the international risks from possible import tariffs as well as employment challenges, financial exposure, exchange rates and other political and ethical considerations. 4 Scotland’s Renewable Energy Industry Supply Chain Impact Statement 2021 | A Snapshot  Scotland’s Renewable Energy Industry Supply Chain Impact Statement 2021 | A Snapshot  5 Deployment of net-zero energy technology is growing rapidly across Scotland With the UK’s Net-Zero Strategy setting out our decarbonisation vision across power, heat and transport it is no wonder that activity in our local supply chain is beginning to ramp up across the energy transition landscape. 

With renewables providing the equivalent of 97.4% of Scotland’s electricity consumption, progress has been made but we still have work to do. As more and more green energy projects emerge to combat climate change, companies from the northern islands to the Borders are utilising their expertise, skills and capabilities to grasp the economic and environmental benefits arising from the sustainability pipeline. This year Scottish Renewables’ Supply Chain Impact Statement has been expanded to highlight the impressive suppliers working across all renewable technologies and is testament to the increasing volume of opportunity on the horizon. Local projects like Moray East Offshore Wind Farm, Scotland’s first hydrogen train in Bo’ness, Morven community hydro scheme and the Queens Quay river source heat pump as well as international projects further afield, all require services as diverse as media production, fabrication, safety and survival, remote monitoring and environmental management.  With the support of our headline sponsor SSE Renewables the third edition of this annual publication brings together a snapshot of the expert companies supporting the deployment of green energy technology and highlights the fantastic work being delivered across this growing sector. This document also features the offshore wind clusters in Scotland and presents recent work delivered by the Offshore Wind Cluster Builder which demonstrates the depth and breadth of the economic impact renewables projects can have on our indigenous supply chain companies.  It is clear there are many dedicated suppliers Scotland can be proud of and despite the world being impacted hugely by the COVID-19 pandemic all of these organisations have managed to ‘stay the course’, thrive and even grow through this time which evidences the resilience, strength and talent of the businesses and their people. Claire Mack Chief Executive Scottish Renewables It is clear that local sourcing makes good business sense and although this trend is growing across the procurement community there is an increased recognition that as a sector we should be doing more to grow our regional supply chain.

 

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