The Scottish Government has a stated target of meeting the equivalent of 100% of Scottish demand for electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Scotland is well placed to take a global lead in the exploitation of renewable energy sources at sea. Scotland has a massive offshore renewables potential with an estimated 25% of Europe’s tidal resource, 25% of its offshore wind resource and 10% of its wave potential. This represents one third of the UK’s tidal stream resources and two thirds of its wave potential.
UK and Scottish Marine legislation has been used to deliver a Marine Planning System and introduce best practice through efficiencies in consenting/licensing processes. In addition, Scottish Ministers have introduced a system of Sectoral Marine Planning as their spatial strategy for locating commercial scale offshore renewable energy developments.
Marine Scotland has developed a National Marine Plan with a key objective for sustainable development of offshore wind, wave and tidal renewable energy in the most suitable locations.
In November 2017, Crown Estate Scotland announced their intention to run a further leasing round for commercial scale offshore wind energy. In accordance with Scotland’s National Marine Plan, the spatial locations for such a round will be identified through a Sectoral Marine Planning process. ( – Marine Scotland).
Sectoral Marine Plans and further information can be found on the Scottish Government website here.
The Scottish Energy Strategy sets out the Scottish Governments vision for the future energy system in Scotland. Just Transition Commission has published a number of principles and an interim report outlining the approach to Scotland’s transition to net-zero emmissions.
Here in the Moray Firth we host a number of these projects:
Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm is the partnership formed between SSE Renewables, Repsol Nuevas Energias UK and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The site is located in the Outer Moray Firth on the north-western point of the Smith Bank, 13.5 km from the Caithness coastline. The development, once fully constructed and operational, could provide energy equivalent to the needs of approximately 477,610 homes.
Moray Offshore Renewable Power – Moray Firth Offshore Wind Zone – the zone is being developed in two main phases. Moray East (950 MW) obtained a contract for difference in September 2017 and the first part of zone is due to become operational in 2022/2023. Moray West (750 MW) is in the early stages of planning.
Further afield, innovative projects such as the Acorn CCS & Hydrogen Project, will provide benefits to the local area in terms of helping to meet our Net Zero targets.
The Moray Firth Coastal Partnership will work with existing oil and gas companies, renewable energy developers and the local communities in the transition to net zero and will provide a clear route for consultation, education, and engagement.
We will provide regional information and data, to support the community benefits process.