East Lothian Courier – 20 April 2023


Scotland is energy rich but many of our folk are fuel poor I’ve written on many an occasion. But it’s so huge and so vital that it’s necessary to keep saying so. Also some people are making money though from our renewable resource and it’s not just the big energy companies where there are dividends and bonuses aplenty. Most of the money has gone to the corporates but some public organisations are still getting some even if it’s not the council or the Scottish Government.

The energy coming ashore from the offshore wind developments that are becoming ever more visible in the Forth is at least seeing some funds pocketed by Crown Estates Scotland (CES) who have the rights to the foreshore here in East Lothian, as in the rest of Scotland. That money goes to the government here. It’s not massive but nor’s it to be sniffed it. They’re getting payments for the cables landing at Cockenzie and at Torness and it amounts to millions and on much on an annual recurring basis.

What though is the county getting from that? In Montrose CES is putting significant funds into developing a renewable energy business park which will see businesses and jobs established as companies base themselves there. To be fair Montrose is a major hub for the growing offshore wind industry. But so can and should be East Lothian. We might not host the ports that service the sector but we have the transmission stations for the energy that flows ashore before being sent south on the national grid.

I’ve written to CES asking where’s ours. There surely has to be as much opportunity here where the energy’s landing as there. Why can’t they fund developments at Cockenzie and Torness where hydrogen, ammonia and other offspring’s from the clean and recurring resource could create jobs and allow both old and new businesses to flourish.

There’s plenty land and we’ve been told there’ll be new technology springing in the sites of the old. East Lothian must benefit from this resource not just be able to see it from the shore.