Scottish Government Extends Scope of Energy Plan to 200 Nautical Miles
The Scottish Government will undertake a scoping exercise to identify further areas of search for the development of offshore wind energy in Scottish Territorial Waters, and out to the 200 nautical mile limit.
Since the publication of the Blue seas, Green energy report in March, the Scottish Government has been working closely with The Crown Estate Commissioners to assess how best to maximise Scotland’s offshore wind potential.
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
“The development of offshore wind energy has the potential to drive Scotland’s next industrial revolution. Together with the ability to attract billions of pounds of investment and create tens of thousands of highly skilled and sustainable jobs.
“Realising and harnessing this must be done in a sustainable way that ensures communities can also benefit from the new economic opportunities presented by this growing industry.
“It is estimated that Scotland has 206 Gigawatts of practical offshore wind, wave and tidal resource – almost 40 per cent of the UK total. Harnessing just one third – 68 Gigawatt – would deliver as much as seven times our own electricity, and result in net value of 14 billion pounds in sales alone by 2050.
“With ideal natural resources as well as world-class infrastructure, skills and expertise in innovation and technology, Scotland has an unrivalled comparative advantage in an industry that is rapidly gathering pace.”
The Crown Estate’s Scottish Commissioner, Gareth Baird, added: “We are very pleased to be working closely with the Scottish Government to help achieve the ambitious targets it has set for the growth of renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions.”
Over the next two years the Scottish Government will undertake a Review of the Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters. The scope of the plan will increase to include 12-200 nautical miles.
Following the publication of the Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish Territorial Waters in March 2011, The Scottish Government committed to making an announcement on future opportunities for the development of offshore wind.
The Scottish Government is using the Crown Estate Commissioner’s Marine Resource System (MaRS) to help identify areas of resource for offshore wind development. Part of this exercise involves reviewing the work undertaken to help identify ‘medium term’ areas in Scottish Territorial Waters. A scoping report will be published in July 2011 which identifies potential options, which could be considered for further leasing in the future.
Following publication of this scoping report, the Scottish Government will consider more detailed environmental, technical and socio-economic issues in relation to the identified areas of search for offshore wind energy development. The findings of this exercise will be published as Regional Location Guidance during autumn 2011.
The Crown Estate Commissioners will establish developer appetite for further offshore wind developments in Scottish Territorial Waters. Potential developers are expected to follow the Regional Location Guidance when identifying potential development sites, and will be bound to planning policy and procedures.
The Crown Estate Commissioners confirm that five sites within Scottish Territorial Waters will progress to Agreement for Lease as a result of the plan (published in March). These sites total almost 5 GigaWatts (GW), which along with the Round 3 Zones (Moray Firth and Forth/Tay) totals nearly 10GW of awarded capacity.
The Forth Array site, one of the original ten awarded Exclusivity Agreements pre-plan, was given up by the developer in December 2010; this site is now out of the lease agreement programme and will not be considered further.
In the Renewable Energy Zone around Scotland, The Crown Estate Commissioners will work closely with the Scottish Government to consult with industry to assess developer interest for additional capacity.
Source: offshorewindscotland, July 11, 2011;