This map of offshore energy (wind, wave and tidal) sites earmarked for potential development sites is part of the final ‘blueprint’ for Marine Scotland’s masterplan for planning and licensing potential ‘blue seas, green energy’ coastal locations.
The masterplan will, in effect, be the marine equivalent of onshore local authority development plans against which developers will have to ensure that their proposals meet the emerging marine development criteria.
The Marine Scotland masterplan is due to be presented for ratification to the Scots government later this spring.
This final sectoral marine plan is being reviewed and sectoral marine plans are currently being developed for Wave Energy and Tidal Energy in Scottish Waters by Linda Rosborough, Director of Marine Scotland at New St. Andrew’s House, Leith.
Sectoral Marine Plans will contain Scottish Ministers policies, including their spatial strategy to steer commercial scale offshore renewable energy development in Scottish Waters.
Scotland’s coastal communities are “very varied” and include almost 100 inhabited islands. Rosborough also differentiates between “communities of place” and “communities of interest” e.g. yachtsmen, fishermen, and oil and gas workers. Marine Scotland ensures that both types of communities are involved in all its policies and in regulatory work “before we come to decisions” she said, adding:
“We need to have a formal way of managing who gets to use the sea, when and in which circumstances.”
Around 25% of all Europe’s tidal and offshore wind potential lies off the coast of Scotland. Marine Scotland was established in 2009 to “manage Scotland’s seas for prosperity and environmental sustainability”.
The Northern Ireland assembly is considering using Marine Scotland as a planning template for its marine/ renewables energy plans.