Offshore Wind Sectoral Marine Plan Scoping Consultation

Closes 18 Jul 2018

Opened 13 Jun 2018

Overview

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring secure, reliable and affordable energy supplies within the context of long-term decarbonisation of energy generation. Continued growth of the renewable energy sector in Scotland is an essential feature of the future clean energy system and a potential key driver of economic growth.

In November 2017, Crown Estate Scotland (CES) announced their intention to run a further leasing round for commercial scale offshore wind energy projects in Scottish Waters. This initiative is consistent with the Scottish Energy Strategy which envisages further offshore wind developments as playing a key role in Scotland’s future energy mix.

To inform the spatial development of this leasing round, Marine Scotland, as Planning Authority for Scotland’s Seas, is required to undertake a planning exercise, in accordance with relevant EC, UK and Scottish legislation.  The plan development process involves identifying spatial ‘Areas of Search’ and a ‘Sustainability Appraisal’ which considers the impacts on communities, other users of the sea, the economy and the environment (encompassing a Strategic Environmental Assessment and a Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) to identify the potential for effects on European nature conservation sites).

Why We Are Consulting

At this early scoping stage of the planning processes we are seeking to consult on the spatial Areas of Search, where potential development options could be located, alongside the scoping documents associated with the Strategic Environmental Assessment, Socio-Economic Assessment and Habitats Regulation Appraisal.  These reports outline the baseline information and proposed methodologies to be applied at the later stages of the planning process.  The Areas of Search report also outlines the data and methodology applied in order to identify the proposed areas.

Responses are invited for each report individually and specifically for each Area of Search put forward at this stage.  These responses will help to shape the planning process moving forward by testing the proposed methodologies and identifying any areas where new or better data resources may be available.  This will ensure that the planning process can take these comments into account early in the process.

Following the scoping consultation, an analysis of responses will be undertaken which, along with all relevant data we have and may receive, will help shape the Areas of Search into Draft Plan Options. These options will then be subject to a statutory Strategic Environmental and Socio-economic assessment process which will enable further refinement if necessary before being included in a ‘Draft Plan for Offshore Wind Energy’ which we intend to consult on in 2019.

Give us your views

Audiences

  • People of Scotland

Interests

  • Business, Industry and Innovation
  • Building and Planning
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Marine and Fisheries