Scotland welcomes offshore wind, wave and tidal blueprint

By Kari Williamson

The report was prepared by a task force comprising Marine Scotland, environmental regulators, renewable developers and The Crown Estate.

The task force recommendations include:

  • Creating a national database of survey data, with information from DECC, The Crown Estate and, at the appropriate time, developers - to reduce duplication and minimise cost and time;
  • Introducing common standards in data collection and assessment to ensure developers can use methodologies consistently and with confidence;
  • Using mandatory multilateral consultation to engage other sea users (fisheries, shipping, recreational users, communities, etc) at the earliest opportunity, before applications;
  • Increasing resources in Marine Scotland (on cost-recovery basis) to provide required environment specialists for efficient scoping and application processes; and
  • Prioritising early work to identify potential sites for new test facilities, including deep water offshore wind technologies.

These will now be taken forward by Marine Scotland, SNH and other regulatory/advisory bodies.

Salmond says: “The Scottish Government and our agencies are determined to build a strong, sustainable and world-leading offshore renewables industry, bringing jobs and investment to communities around the country. An increasing number of major overseas firms are already joining leading Scottish companies to invest in the development of wind, wave and tidal in Scotland.

“As we move towards our 2020 target of ensuring renewables contribute at least 100% of Scotland’s own electricity demand, it is important that the scoping, planning, development and deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal generation is done as effectively and efficiently as possible.”