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Renewables Action Plan



including key actions 2009-11


Renewable Heat is simply heat produced from low carbon renewable sources such as biomass, heat pumps (ground source, air source and/or water source), heat from waste biomass and anaerobic digestion, including biogas, solar heating, wind to heat and geothermal heat. It can be produced as either heat only or Combined Heat and Power ( CHP) but for the purposes of this routemap, does not include heat produced from renewable electricity.


To build a commercially viable, diverse, renewable heat industry in Scotland in support of our 2020 renewable energy target and to help tackle climate change.

Headline Ambitions:

To at least meet the 11% target by 2020 through:

  • having heat from renewable sources recognised as the first choice option for new developments in areas off the gas grid and maximising opportunities for retrofitting;
  • having heat from renewable sources representing a cost effective option in the rest of the country;
  • supporting the development of integrated local and regional community energy and utility cross-sectoral partnerships;
  • creating a flexible, future-proofed delivery infrastructure, allowing for technological, financial and structural innovation;
  • developing a supportive policy, planning and regulatory framework.


Ministers attach high priority to the development of policy on renewable heat, and are introducing a statutory obligation, under the Scottish Climate Change Bill, to publish a separate, more detailed Renewable Heat Action Plan to meet the 2020 target and reduce carbon emissions.

Estimated heat use in Scotland is currently around 50% of overall energy demand, distributed between the following sectors:

Figure 4: Split of Scottish Heat Energy Demand

Figure 4: Split of Scottish Heat Energy Demand

Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland, Scotland's Renewable Heat Strategy, 2008

The target of delivering 11% of Scotland's projected 2020 heat demand from renewable sources, amounting to some 6.4 TWh, is estimated to require an installed capacity of circa 2.1 GW.

The Scottish Government commissioned the Sustainable Development Commission ( SDC) to research the level of renewable heat currently in use in Scotland. The findings at Table 1 show that the current level of installed renewable heat capacity and output in Scotland is very small - about 1.4% of the projected 2020 demand (or some 0.83 TWh), with the market fragmented between differing technologies and scales of application.

SDC estimate a near doubling can be expected from plant under construction and if all projects remain on track then output in 2009/10 is estimated at 2.7%. As for future projections, SDC identified a number of projects at various stages of planning which could bring the total to around 4.6% (of projected 2020 demand ).

Table 1: Scottish Renewable Heat Capacity as at 31 st March 2009



Biomass primary combustion





Solar thermal


















Biomass CHP



(Fuel Cell biomass)



(Wind electricity)



(Hydro electricity)








Using the findings from the SDC report, Figure 2 below suggests interim milestones for heat output and installed capacity to assist in monitoring achievement against the target.

NB: The increased rate of expansion after 2011 anticipates the introduction of a Renewable Heat Incentive.

Figure 5

Figure 5

The Renewable Heat routemap should be read in conjunction with the Bioenergy routemap as woody biomass and energy from waste ( EfW) are very important fuel sources in our efforts to meet the renewable heat target. The opportunities and required actions which address woodfuel availability and supply are covered in the bioenergy routemap.

As stated in the Introduction to the Renewables Action Plan, energy efficiency and renewable energy are closely linked and both are important to deliver long term targets. This is recognised in the Scottish Climate Change Bill, which will include a statutory obligation to produce an Energy Efficiency Action Plan, as for renewable heat. Delivery of the Renewable Heat route map will be closely linked with the Energy Efficiency Action Plan.

All technological options and scales will need to play a part in the delivery of renewable heat, from microgeneration through to large scale industrial. In the short to medium term, systems which use woody biomass are likely to be the key technology, along with energy from waste which, in all its various forms, represents a rapidly developing sector. Currently industrial and commercial users are the key target market, but with some 50% of Scotland's heat demand being in the domestic sector it is essential to initiate change in this area as quickly as possible, with a particular focus needed to tackle the 2.4 million existing properties.

Case Study: Carbon Trust Biomass Heat Accelerator

During 2006, the Carbon Trust launched the Biomass Heat Accelerator ( BHA) which is a 5 year, £5 million technology accelerator working to address the barriers specific to this technology. Core funding from the Scottish Government was received.

To date, the Biomass Heat Accelerator has worked with 20 existing installations in Scotland to gather detailed cost and performance data. In addition it has worked with three of Scotland's leading biomass heating equipment installation companies to improve cost-effectiveness.

A wider programme of knowledge dissemination has also reduced uncertainty over this technology for many potential users in Scotland, including the publication of a major technical guide: 'Biomass heating: a practical guide for potential users'.

The outcomes of the BHA project should enable a wide base of potential users to investigate and take advantage of this where they are best placed to do so. Scotland is ideally placed to take advantage of this technology due to the availability of fuel sources and the large number of heat consumers who do not have access to relatively cheap natural gas

In rural areas off the gas grid individual house solutions based on microrenewables such as biomass, solar thermal and heat pumps will be particularly important. The Energy Efficiency Action Plan will give further consideration to the role and place of low carbon equipment in the built environment for both heat and electricity generation. There are greater opportunities for the use of renewable based district heating, and potentially biogas, in urban and semi urban locations. The Energy Efficiency Action Plan will consider waste heat from non renewable sources for district heating.

Together this presents a considerable opportunity for growth in the numbers of skilled trades people to manufacture, install and maintain the equipment e.g. boilers, heat pumps, solar collectors and insulated pipe work for district heating networks, and to supply biomass. It is equally important to ensure that there is the capacity to provide the necessary professional services including designers, specifiers, building service engineers and planners.

The initial capital cost for purchase and installation of the required equipment is quite considerable, particularly new district heating networks, which represents both a barrier to uptake, and an opportunity for business in driving innovation on cost reduction.

It is worth highlighting that, in a constitutional context, responsibility for heat falls between reserved and devolved matters. Ministers have powers to promote renewable heat, but the development of a renewable heat incentive which involves a levy on fossil fuel suppliers is reserved to the UK Government. However, Ministers will be consulted on its introduction, ensuring specific Scottish interests are taken into account in the design of the scheme.


Supporting developments:

  • Provide clear concise information on key drivers, opportunities and support available to encourage both high heat users and the public sector to give serious consideration to installing one or more of the most relevant renewable heat technologies.
  • Provide an opportunity to enable interested bodies to learn from early adopters by facilitating engagement between them, including publication of appropriate case studies.
  • Promote the heat options assessment tool to help developers to understand the opportunities and requirements for a cost effective district heating ( DH) scheme and compare options for DH and individual installations of low carbon equipment, set in the context of a tightening of energy standards, as recommended by Sullivan report. Published on 22 June 2009 by Building Standards.
  • Enable the development of commercial renewable heat projects, linking available resources with potential users/locations in close proximity.
  • Ensure that best practice information on energy efficiency is available alongside renewable heat information provision.


  • Ensure that work carried out by the Scottish Renewable Energy Skills Group addresses the needs of the renewable heat sector .
  • Identify solutions to any labour/skills barriers identified in the Scottish Enterprise baseline study into the Energy Supply Chain in Scotland with a view to developing a workforce with the capacity and skills necessary for exploiting opportunities in the renewable energy sector.
  • Ensure renewable heat training incorporates guidance on energy standards.

Building Scottish Supply Chain:

  • Provide advice and assistance to emerging and new start up supply chain companies.
  • Enable development and co-ordination of supply chains.
  • Support businesses growth in, and diversification into, the renewable heat sector.
  • Facilitate targeted inward investment where required to address renewable heat supply chain needs and explore opportunities to develop the skills base and manufacturing infrastructure for renewable heat technologies.

Supporting Investment:

  • In the short term: maximise the opportunities presented through the SBHS, WRAP, CARES, SRDP and, as appropriate, RSA support mechanisms, including demonstrator schemes for e.g. district heating and retrofitting in the domestic sector.
  • Continue to work closely with the Department of Energy and Climate Change ( DECC) to highlight Scottish needs in the consideration of mechanisms to enable the wider use of renewable heat, in particular the introduction of the RHI and the banded RO.
  • Link sources of venture capital with major commercial renewable heat developments, in particular supporting new business models and partnerships between private sector, local authorities and communities for the delivery of heat through district heating.
  • Consider the need for a credit loan guarantees scheme to facilitate development in the sector.


  • Ensure information on all technologies is available to enable end users to make an informed choice about the most appropriate technology for their needs.
  • Commission further work to explore the feasibility of introducing permitted development rights for air source heat pumps and wind turbines.

Building Regulations:

  • Consultation on change to energy standards in Technical Handbooks 2009.

Demonstration project (s)/Regional Champions:

  • Draw on experience of others, such as Sustainable Glasgow, to promote best practice.
  • Seek to access European expertise on renewable heat, develop collaborative projects and source EU funding through the Scottish European Green Energy Centre ( SEGEC).
  • Identify at least one exemplar project, potentially through the Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative, to explore cost effective provision of heat from renewable technologies.

Renewable Heat Key Actions 2009-11





Supporting Developments

Information and Advice

  • Consider findings from gap analysis work undertaken by SRF and take appropriate action.

(see the Skills section for further detail)

  • End December 2009
  • Scottish Government

Information and Advice

  • Undertake a heat mapping pilot with Highland Council, in conjunction with CoSLA, and promote the findings to all 32 LAs.
  • End March 2010
  • Scottish Government; Highland Council

Information and Advice

  • Work with the Carbon Trust, through the Biomass Accelerator Programme, to target Scottish companies that are high heat users, with a view to getting them to switch to renewable heat.
  • Contact 100 companies by End July 09.
  • Complete 20 energy audits by end December 2009.
  • Carbon Trust

Information and Advice

  • Publish case studies which have received Scottish Government funding to enable interested bodies to learn from early adopters.
  • ongoing
  • Scottish Government


  • FREDS Renewable Heat group to consider specific skills needs for renewable heat and to feed this into the Renewables Skills Steering Group
  • End December 2009
  • FREDS Renewable Heat Group

Supply chain

  • In conjunction with the Enterprise Networks produce a strategic plan to maximise supply chain opportunities across all areas, including: design and installation. Component supply, maintenance and servicing, manufacturing and innovation.
  • End December 2009
  • Scottish Enterprise; HIE; Scottish Government

Supporting Investment

Grant programmes

  • Continue to provide funding through various grant programmes, including CARES, SBHS and SRDP to support renewable heat installing including district heating.
  • End March 2011
  • Scottish Government

Fiscal measures

  • Ensure that Scottish interests are taken into account in the design of the RHI.
  • End December 2009
  • Scottish Government

Fiscal measures

  • Consider the need for a credit loan guarantee scheme to facilitate development of the sector
  • End March 2010
  • Scottish Government



  • To maximise the contribution of sustainable biomass to meet renewable heat and electricity targets, and reduce carbon emissions

Headline Ambitions:

  • Substantial growth of bioenergy potential in Scotland in harmony with environmental and air quality obligations.
  • Substantial increase in the uptake of heat from a range of bioenergy sources across the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors.


Biomass technology is well-proven and widely used. Modern systems operate at high efficiencies, and are especially suitable for areas off the gas grid where much of the resource is located. It is a renewable energy source as it can either be part of a constant carbon cycle (such as woodfuel from sustainably managed forests or animal waste) or biomass waste which would otherwise go to landfill.

Material from biological sources, provide useful quantities of predictable, base load for electricity and/or heat generation. Indeed, bioenergy is likely to be one of the main means by which Scotland's 11% renewable heat target is to be met.

The use of bioenergy, particularly woodfuel, has increased rapidly over the last five years. However, with only about 230 MW thermal and 80 MW electricity installed capacity in Scotland, the bioenergy market is still at an early stage of development, with the need for significant ongoing growth. Existing capacity is a mixture of a few large wood processors (using wood for process heat), the major electricity generating plant at Lockerbie and a range of smaller projects (mostly) funded by the Scottish Biomass Support Scheme and the Scottish Community & Householders Renewable Initiative. The first large-scale biomass CHP plants in Scotland are about to be commissioned at UPM Caledonian Paper at Irvine and Balcas at Invergordon.

The supply chain has also developed to meet the growing demand. Companies in the forestry and recycling sector have put in place large-scale supply contracts and have been leading the way in mobilising new sources of supply such as forest residues. Local markets have also been growing rapidly and many rural businesses such as estates, farms and forestry contractors have taken advantage of capital grant through SBSS and SRDP to diversify into woodfuel supply. Forestry Commission Scotland ( FCS) has initiated a GB-wide Woodfuel Suppliers Forum of the key trade association and agencies relevant to the woodfuel supply chain to promote coordination and networking in the biomass sector. REMADE Scotland have now published a report on wood waste data: which will provide certainty to the sector on available resource.


Marine biomass is not yet commercially viable and is still at the R& D stage. There is some activity happening in Scotland undertaken by the Scottish Association for Marine Science who based outside Oban. See case study below.

Case Study: Biomara project

In March 2009, Scottish Association for Marine Science ( SAMS) and its partners secured nearly €5 million from the European Union's INTERREGIVA Programme for the Biomara project.

Biomara is a UK and Irish joint project that aims to demonstrate the feasibility and viability of producing third generation biofuels from marine biomass. It will investigate the potential use of both macroalgae and microalgae as alternatives to terrestrial agri-fuel production. The practicalities of using algal biomass as a competitive, sustainable biofuel source will be considered in concert with wide stakeholder engagement, whilst environmental impacts of algal cultivation and extraction will be core considerations of the project.

Alongside this research the project will work with a cross-sectoral stakeholder group to ensure the results are used for onward end-use development and influence fuel supply and demand. This major research initiative is led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science ( SAMS) but involves input from a number of partners from Ireland and Northern Ireland including Dundalk Institute of Technology, the University of Ulster, Queen's University Belfast, Dublin City University, Sligo Institute of Technology, and Scottish partner, University of Strathclyde.

Energy from Waste ( EfW), particularly from commercial and industrial streams, can also contribute to energy targets, now and in the long term.

The Scottish Government's policy on waste is based on Zero Waste and the waste hierarchy contained in the EU Waste Framework Directive:

  • Prevention
  • Preparing for re-use
  • Recycling
  • Other recovery, e.g. energy recovery
  • Disposal

The Scottish Government has said that for municipal waste we are aiming for 70% recycling and composting by 2025. Anaerobic Digestion will count towards this 70% target so long as the plants are taking source segregated organic material and not mixed waste. The Government has said that no more than 25% of municipal waste should be treated by technologies taking mixed waste, such as incineration. The energy from waste cap does not apply to commercial and industrial waste.

Scotland has to meet its share of the EU targets on reducing the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill. The first such target due for 2010: this has been met. The subsequent targets in 2013 and 2020 represent an ongoing challenge. Infrastructure, such as energy from waste plant, to treat residual waste will play a role in meeting these targets.

For construction and demolition waste, the revised EU Waste Framework Directive lays down a target of recycling and re-use by 2020.

The Government has indicated that all energy from waste plants should aim for high levels of efficiency. Therefore, SEPA have produced guidelines on the Thermal Treatment of Waste:


The Scottish Government, along with the other administrations in the UK, has commissioned, through the Waste and Resources Action Programme Scotland, a project on the practicalities of introducing more landfill bans. This project is due to report later in 2009.

Anaerobic digestion ( AD) is likely to be used increasingly in Scotland, particularly to treat food waste from households, business and the food processing sector. Work is on-going through WRAP on developing markets for recycled products, including digestate from AD plants.


Top Level:

  • Maximise available biomass resources to support the expanding bioenergy sector.
  • Provide good quality information and advice that promotes the benefits of bioenergy to encourage end users to adopt the technology.
  • Encourage next generation bioenergy, including marine biomass and advanced conversion technologies.
  • Fully exploit the opportunities available from waste to energy compatible with Government policy on waste prevention and recycling.

Developing the Sector:

  • Maintain progress against the actions identified in the Wood Fuel Task Force report. This includes working with industry to support the development of long-term contracts and greater transparency in the market.
  • Continue to improve woodfuel supply forecasts including private sector supply and woody waste figures, taking into account existing markets for wood.
  • Continue with the cross government bioenergy group to ensure policies are joined up.
  • Ensure that the essential capacity building for bioenergy is included in proposals for skills development.
  • Promote opportunities in the Energy from Waste sector, such as, encourage small, local district heating schemes, encourage AD of source segregated wastes, encourage partnership working across public and private sector, and explore opportunities in commercial and industrial waste.
  • Continue to develop anaerobic digestion through the Waste and Resources Action Programme 2009 and 2011.

Support Investment:

  • Continue to run the Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme until 2011. A total of £3.3 million of capital grants is available for heat-only business installation. Support ongoing development of the biomass supply chain and renewable heat installations under the Scottish Rural Development Programme.
  • Undertake evaluation of the Scottish Biomass Support Scheme in 2009 to help inform future support.
  • Continue to encourage the next generation of bioenergy, including marine biomass.
  • Continue to liaise with DECC to ensure Scottish bioenergy interests are met in the forthcoming Renewable Heat Incentive.


  • Promote best practice in the use of biomass and air quality.
  • A new National Waste Management Plan is currently being drafted.
  • FCS will provide support and advice through the Regional Biomass Advice Network ( RBAN), an Energy Forestry Handbook and associated Best Practice Guidance and case studies to be published in 2009. FCS is also co-ordinating a marketing programme through RBAN.
  • Promote the Carbon Trust's guide to biomass heating " Biomass heating: a practical guide for potential users."


  • The Scottish Government should continue ongoing engagement with Ofgem and the UK Government to discuss grid access.

Energy from Waste:

  • Quantify how much energy from waste (including AD) can contribute to renewable heat generation in Scotland.
  • Investigate heat recovery from a waste management plant.
  • Encourage operators of AD plants receiving public funding to make effective use of the heat by building in a contractual requirement to grant awards.
  • Enforce thermal treatment guidelines to ensure energy from waste plants treating any form of waste aim to capture the heat efficiently and seek markets for that heat.
  • Produce a new National Waste Management Plan.
  • Provide advice and support to key firms in Scotland currently seeking to create and use energy from waste.
  • Enable the creation and growth of CHP and/or heat networks in relation to energy from waste facilities with the aim of improving the competitiveness of business locations.
  • Enable the development of an impartial national resource to assist companies in priority sectors in developing and delivering solutions to derive value from waste, including knowledge on heat demands.

Bioenergy Key Actions 2009-2011





Developing the woody biomass sector.

Woodfuel availability and supply chain.

  • Maintain progress against the actions identified in the Wood Fuel Task Force, keys tasks are: Improve accuracy of forecasting, and develop long-term contracts and greater transparency in the market.
  • End 2011
  • Forestry Commission Scotland ( FCS)

Support Investment

Grant Programmes

  • Run the SBHS to assist SME's to adopt biomass heat technology.
  • Continue funding via CARES & SRDP to support renewable heat installations including demonstrator DH
  • End March 2011
  • Scottish Government; FCS

Fiscal and Regulatory measures.

Electricity/ CHP.

  • Continue to support the generation of electricity from renewable sources via the RO, and continue to provide enhanced support for ACT and biomass CHP.
  • Band introduced April 2009 with a commitment to end March 2027.
  • Scottish Government


  • Ensure Scottish interests are accounted fir in the design & introduction of the RHI (see heat routemap)
  • End December 2009.
  • Scottish Government

Information and Advice.

Woody biomass.

  • Provide support and advice through the Regional Advice Network ( RBAN), key tasks: co-ordinate support/advice from other key agencies; undertake marketing programme.
  • End December 2011
  • FCS

Information and Advice

  • Publish case studies which have received SG funding to enable interested bodies to learn from early adopters.
  • End December 2009
  • FCS

Air quality

  • Promote best practice and provide guidance on air quality.
  • ongoing
  • Scottish Government


  • Specific skills for bioenergy to be covered by the RESG

(considered in more detail in the skills route map)

  • ongoing
  • Sector Skills Council

Energy from Waste

  • Support development of AD through WRAP
  • 2009-11
  • Scottish Government


  • Quantify how much energy from waste (including AD) can contribute to renewable heat generation in Scotland
  • End December 2009
  • Scottish Government


  • Develop proposals for advancing Scottish innovation in relation to EfW technology
  • Scope out initial proposal by December 2009
  • Scottish Enterprise



  • Full exploitation of hydroelectric potential in Scotland in harmony with environmental obligations.

Headline Ambitions:

  • Contribute to renewables targets by realising the sustainable potential identified by the 2008 FREDS Hydro Resource Study and any additional larger scale development.
  • Increase the number of sustainably developed micro-hydro schemes to build confidence, resilience and wealth at community level as well as increasing the prevalence of sustainable, low carbon, affordable and secure energy.


With over 1.4 GW installed capacity, the hydro sector in Scotland is well established, including several large scale run of river which have been operating for several decades, and augmented most recently by the 100 MW Glendoe scheme near Loch Ness. Hydro power is proven and reliable and, with pumped storage, can provide balancing services to manage intermittency associated with a higher penetration of renewables.

The potential impact of large scale hydro schemes on the environment, and the Scottish Government's obligations to comply with the Water Framework Directive ( WFD), mean that there is probably limited scope for further large scale hydro development.


In a more general context, as the proportion of variable generation grows, grid management solutions are likely to become more valuable. Hence while the scope for further large scale hydro development may be small, nevertheless, it will be important particularly to support the growth of appropriately sited pumped storage.

There continues to be interest in smaller schemes, and this opportunity has been highlighted by the FREDS Hydro Resource study which suggests up to 657 MW of economically viable small scale hydro to be exploited in Scotland. While grid capacity constraints may reduce this figure in the short term, nevertheless, there is latitude to explore the resource identified, and this is precisely what the Forestry Commission Scotland is doing with its major project to develop renewables on the Forest Estate, highlighted earlier.

Given the potential for small scale schemes, there is scope for a new industry-based group on micro-hydro to supersede the FREDS Hydro Group and to build on its legacy. The sector would like to see a planning presumption in favour of micro-scale development, but this has to be weighed against Ministers' duty to ensure compliance with the WFD. There is certainly a need to ensure that micro-hydro development is not disincentivised by undue administrative and cost burdens in applying for water licences, and thus an early action will be to work with SEPA to ensure - within the constraints of the WFD - that micro-hydro schemes are treated proportionately in the licensing process.

The Role of SEPA

SEPA is committed to continue to engage with the sector to ensure presentation of a streamlined implementation of the WFD via CAR. However, SEPA has a duty under CAR to take account of third party interests:

  • guidance issued to SEPA by the Scottish Government makes clear that third party interests include recreational interests;
  • unless derogation under the Water Framework Directive is applicable, SEPA has a duty to refuse authorisation where deterioration of status would otherwise result;
  • the WFD's derogation tests are essentially balancing tests requiring SEPA to balance the social (e.g. recreation etc) and economic benefits of protecting the water environment and the benefits to sustainable development of the proposed scheme. SEPA cannot apply the tests without taking into account social, economic and environmental interests;
  • SEPA is working closely with a number of local authorities to coordinate and streamline the information requirements. SEPA consults local authorities and SNH on recreation issues before reaching a decision;
  • PAN 51 provides some guidance on the role of environmental regulators versus planning authorities. It identifies that the differences in the role of planning powers versus SEPA's powers can be approached by considering their relative abilities to secure environmental objectives: SEPA is better able than local authorities to predict the impact of changes to the water environment on the recreational resource (i.e. because it can asses how the flows etc will change). SEPA is also better able to control the impact recreational and other interests because it can set conditions on how much water can be abstracted and when etc - whereas local authorities cannot.

SEPA is also planning a workshop with local authorities in the early autumn to further coordinate respective functions.

While the roles of SEPA and the Fisheries Electricity Committee ( FEC) have been aligned through a Memorandum of Understanding, it could be argued that SEPA's duty to implement the WFD through CAR undermines the case for FEC's continued existence. The Scottish Government has made the case to the UK Government to abolish FEC, and this action is now being taken forward in the current UK Parliamentary session.

The question of the threshold above which projects are determined under s36, rather than through local planning, has been debated over the past two years by the FREDS Hydro Group, and the sector will now put forward a case to raise the threshold from the current 1 MW level to 50 MW. In considering the need for such a change, it will be important to take into account any impact on local authority capacity.


  • consider the case expected to be made by the hydro sector (via FREDS) to raise the s36 threshold from 1 MW to 50 MW, and act accordingly. If a change is deemed appropriate, this should be achieved within 12 months;
  • continue to engage with Ofgem, National Grid and the electricity transmission companies to ensure continuing progress in obtaining grid connections such as through derogation and Registered Power Zones;
  • by the end of 2009, dissolve FREDS Hydro Group and establish new industry group on micro hydro to drive development, and to look at particular impact of CAR charges;
  • engage with the sector on the development of the Feed in Tariff proposals (at UK Government level) and seek feedback to inform decision-making. (ongoing);
  • by the end of 2009 conduct further analysis of resource study to identify jobs potential and ensure that skills needs are covered in work being taken forward by the Scottish Renewable Energy Skills Group.

Hydro Key Actions 2009-11





Regulatory improvements

  • Through FREDS Hydro Group, agree on best level for S36 threshold and implementation of change if required.
  • By June 2010
  • Scottish Government; FREDS

  • Continue to work with SEPA to ensure that implementation of WFD via CAR does not create unnecessary barriers.
  • Ongoing
  • Scottish Government; Scottish Environmental Protection Agency ( SEPA)


  • Abolition of Fisheries Committee.
  • In Hand
  • UK Government


  • Continued engagement with Ofgem/ NG and transmission operators on barriers to access.
  • Ongoing/Urgent
  • Scottish Government


  • Timely decisions on proposals in system and aim for 9 month turnaround on new proposals.
  • Ongoing
  • SG Consents


  • No clear figures on Green jobs post construction stage.
  • Conduct analysis on Jobs potential based on the Resource study.
  • Ensure that skills issues are covered by RESG.
  • 2009 - 2010
  • Scottish Government; Scottish Funding Council


  • Establish a new industry group on Micro-hydro to galvanise action and consider barriers and report to FREDS.
  • Early priority to engage with SEPA on ensuring a proportionate approach.
  • Seek views and keep industry appraised on development of Feed in Tariff.
  • 2009-10
  • Scottish Governmet
  • Scottish Government; SEPA
  • Scottish Government, Enterprise Agencies



  • Recognising the cross-cutting benefits which the green hydrogen/fuel cell sectors can bring, including solutions for energy storage, energy security in remoter areas and low carbon transport, and, in promoting these solutions, to maximise the contribution of the green hydrogen/fuel cells sectors to the achievement of 20% of renewable energy in Scotland by 2020.

Headline Ambitions:

  • Hydrogen storage to increase the effectiveness and penetration of intermittent renewable energy production.
  • Hydrogen and fuel cells to enable decentralised energy, thereby increasing penetration of renewables.
  • Hydrogen and fuel cells to provide solutions for off-grid sustainability, particularly in remote areas.
  • Fuel cells to increase carbon efficiency across a range of heat and power applications.
  • Increase the use of Hydrogen and fuel cells in transport.


The Scottish Hydrogen and fuel cell sector is at an early stage of development, based on academic expertise, university spin-offs, and a small private sector cohort looking to find a niche in what is a globally driven market.

As an energy vector rather than an energy source, this technology does not benefit directly from incentives such as the RO. Much of what has been deployed in the past 2 years in Scotland has been as a result of the small Scottish Government grants scheme which is being evaluated. With the economic downturn impacting severely on this fragile sector based on young SMEs, it will be important to establish the most appropriate longer term stream of support to encourage growth.

There is certainly an opportunity for the sector to capitalise on the push for green energy - as increasing levels of variable generation enter the grid (hence increasing the need for grid balancing and storage) and communities seek solutions to fuel poverty and grid dependence. Exploiting such opportunities will entail strengthening consumer awareness and confidence in the technology as well as achieving greater sectoral alignment and consensus.

Larger players have entered the market - particularly on grid balancing and as customers for transport solutions. In this context, commercial demonstration appears to be the key next step to wider deployment.


  • Increasing levels of variable generation entering the grid will require a greater level of grid balancing and storage. While there are various options to manage intermittency, including international interconnectors, smart grid, batteries in electric vehicles used as storage, compressed air storage and pumped hydro, there is a commercial opportunity for the hydrogen sector to demonstrate its own efficacy as one such potential grid balancing solution. There is some commercial interest in deployment and by 2020 Scotland should aim for hydrogen grid balancing schemes serving up to 100 MW of onshore wind.
  • While market development is global, Scotland should capitalise on its niche advantage for the development of green hydrogen and fuel cells solutions in rural and remote communities seeking better energy security and mitigation of fuel poverty. By 2020, Scotland should aim for at least 6 examples of hydrogen in decentralised applications, particularly focused on remote communities.

Case Study: PURE's hydrogen houses

PURE Energy Centre Ltd is leading the way in developing hydrogen solutions for remote communities. PURE received a grant of just over £240,000, under the Scottish Government's Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Support Scheme, to develop hydrogen systems for the first completely unplugged hydrogen houses in the world. The project addresses some of the environmental, electrical and heat supply issues found in so many housing schemes around the world. This scheme is a show case of technology that could potentially provide energy security to any unplugged houses.

The project involves building two Combined Heat and Power ( CHP) systems. The CHPs will provide both heat and electrical power to the two non-grid connected houses in Northmavine on the Shetland Islands. The CHP systems are based on state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell technology, which the company sees as the way forward to increasing energy efficiency for houses, housing estates and buildings. With an efficiency of just over 90%, the CHP technology offers a great hope for individual housing units to generate their own 'personal clean energy'.

  • Fuel cells could be used in applications across domestic, industrial and public sectors.
  • Market development of hydrogen/fuel cell applications in transport is global, and the sustainable transport policy agenda in Scotland is being pursued along technology-neutral lines. The Scottish Government aims to consult on sustainable transport this summer. Nonetheless there is already some commercial interest in demonstrating the value of hydrogen/fuel cell transport applications, and Scotland should promote this potential and be prepared to examine barriers to further roll-out. On this basis, Scotland should aim for 10 major transport applications of hydrogen fuel cells by 2020.
  • Other applications such as fertiliser and hydrogen in cooking.


Cross-cutting themes:

  • Scottish Government will take account of the potential contribution of hydrogen to the sustainable low carbon transport policy currently in development.
  • Scottish Government will include hydrogen and fuel cells in its forthcoming assessment of energy storage requirements for Scotland.


  • The Scottish Government will support awareness raising and early demonstrators - this includes support for Scotland's Hydrogen Future conference in September 2009.
  • The Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association ( SHFCA) will engage and achieve buy-in with the sector to determine a common position by the end of 2009 on key areas for development to determine where commercial demonstration can begin.

Supply Chain and Commercial Development:

  • The Scottish Government and SHFCA will support early demonstrators for decentralised energy applications in remote communities and promote success by 2012.
  • The Scottish Government will consider the scope for public sector infrastructure lead over the next year.
  • The Private Sector will provide early demonstrators on Grid balancing and a transport corridor by the end of 2012.
  • Scottish Development International will continue efforts to attract inward investment to the hydrogen/fuel cell industry.
  • Scottish Enterprise will:
    • Promote supply chain opportunities and benefits of hydrogen within other sectors
    • Work with academic and other public sector partners in the development of a potential Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Challenge programme during 2009-2010.
    • Help realise the potential of the Hydrogen Office at Methil during 09-11 and promote the development of an active H2/ FC cluster at Methil by 2010.
  • The Carbon Trust is scoping out a potential fuel cell accelerator, specifically focussing on reducing the cost of polymer fuel cell technology to be launched later in 2009 if appropriate projects can be found.
  • The University of St Andrews will lead on establishing a Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Research Platform ( SHFCRP). This work is already ongoing.

Hydrogen/Fuel cells Key Actions 2009-11




Resource implications (e.g. staff and/or funding)

Establishment of Infrastructure

  • Early commercial demonstrator on grid balancing and transport corridor.
  • By 2012
  • Private sector

Increased Consumer/industry awareness

  • Support early demonstrators for decentralised energy applications in remote communities (including via CARES) and promote success.
  • By 2012
  • Scottish Government; Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association ( SHFCA); CES; project developers
  • Support major conference.
  • Sept 2009
  • Scottish Government
  • Consider scope for public sector infrastructure lead.
  • 2009-10
  • Scottish Government; Scottish Enterprise ( SEnn); Highlands and Islands Enterprise ( HIE)

Sectoral alignment

  • SHFCA to galvanise members to buy in to clear vision for sector.
  • By end 2009

Support sectoral growth

  • Development of H2/ FC cluster at Methil.
  • By 2012
  • SEnn
  • Attract inward investment.
  • Ongoing
  • Scottish Development International ( SDI)
  • Establish longer term access to R&D support - such as possible Scottish Fuel Cell programme.
  • By 2010
  • Promote supply chain opportunities within other sectors.
  • Ongoing
  • SEnn
  • Liaise with relevant authorities on potential regulatory barriers and gaps - such as health and safety requirements.
  • ongoing
  • Scottish Government; SEnn; SHFCA

Link to mainstream renewables

  • SHFCA and Scottish Renewables active partnership.
  • By 2010
  • Scottish Government

Consolidate research base

  • Establishment of Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Platform.
  • In hand
  • University of St. Andrews

Improve evidence base to inform policy

  • Evaluate Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Grants Scheme and case for further funding.
  • By end 2009
  • SG
  • Commission research on energy storage potential to support renewables targets.
  • By end 2009
  • SG

Ensure policy attention and cross-cutting policy approach

  • Establish FREDS Group on Green Hydrogen and Fuel cells to oversee progress.
  • By end 2009
  • SG Renewables
  • Assess role of sector in sustainable transport policy approach.
  • By end 2009
  • SG Transport



  • Continued expansion of portfolio of onshore wind farms to help meet renewables target, with robust planning framework supporting timely processing of consents applications and ensuring wind farms are consented where they are environmentally acceptable.

Headline Ambitions:

  • Support the development of onshore wind farms in locations where it is environmentally acceptable, and hence contributes most effectively to sustainable economic growth.
  • Maximise community engagement with onshore wind projects and provide support for small and community-scale developments, including encouraging wind-to-heat projects in remoter areas off gas grid.

Wind Turbines photo


Onshore wind currently makes up about half of all renewables installed capacity in Scotland which in turn represents approximately half of the entire onshore wind capacity of the UK. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the deployment of appropriately sited onshore wind, and to streamlining the regulatory framework for Consents. Over the past 2 years, 1.6 GW of installed capacity has been consented by Ministers, compared with 1.2 GW consented over 4 years by the previous administration. Given the proven status of the technology, and the known and anticipated quantity of applications in the system, onshore wind is expected to provide the majority of capacity in the timeframe of our interim and 2020 renewable electricity targets.

CASE STUDY - Improving the Consenting regime

The Renewable Energy Directive places an obligation on Member states to take steps to ensure that processes for licensing and consenting new renewable infrastructure are clear, co-ordinated and proportionate. Scotland is already leading the majority of on-shore wind development in the UK and is delivering timely, evidence based and robust decisions towards achieving Scotland's renewable ambitions.

Scotland has shown a strong Ministerial commitment and alignment across its agencies to make renewable energy planning decisions quickly; helping developers to make key business investment decisions; while ensuring local communities are engaged in the design of developments and the decision making process.

Positive Actions underway

Our Renewables Planning policy looks for each local authority to adopt a spatial planning approach to renewable development, identifying key search areas suitable for development while still offering protection to more sensitive areas not best suited for a renewable project.

And in Scotland through a significantly revised scoping guidance procedure and the establishment of Early Engagement Key Stakeholder Groups we have developed a pro-active co-ordinated approach among key statutory environmental bodies and planners to advise and assist developers to best design and site developments.

Developers are further assisted through a gate-checking of any renewable application to ensure that the vital information required to make robust decisions is included in the application at the outset.

Future Opportunity

Scotland has been held as an exemplar in the UK in its adoption of renewable development licensing approach and will build on this positive practice by sharing our experience with UK colleagues through the Renewable Energy and Environmental Issues Project Board and by sharing best practice, training and environmental data with developers and stakeholders across Scotland to best inform the future consenting regime.

In the short term, a key factor impacting on the further development of the sector in Scotland will be the forthcoming decision on the Beauly-Denny grid upgrade, and, as renewables build develops further, grid capacity will become an increasingly significant factor affecting growth. Other key factors will be finding solutions to aviation issues, particularly in the South of Scotland, and whether the global supply chain will be able to keep up with increasing demand.

As there is burgeoning pressure on land for site development, so there will be a concomitant need to demonstrate "net sustainability" - including not only addressing significant environmental sensitivities and carbon issues associated with forested and peatland sites, but also supporting the Scottish Government's wider land use objectives. Whilst developers should be prepared to demonstrate good practice, in terms of mitigation and measurement of carbon impact, this must not become an unreasonable burden inhibiting development.


  • the Scottish Government has legislative powers to enhance the value of the Renewables Obligation if required, and will continue to engage with BERR, DECC and Ofgem to ensure that regulatory mechanisms are aligned fully with the need to exploit renewable resources;
  • Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island Enterprise continue to promote Scotland as a centre for renewable energy in order to attract global companies to create a supply chain within Scotland, including on wind;
  • there is a need to ensure development in harmony with environmental and planning sensitivities;
  • an opportunity to maximise benefits to the community;
  • carbon life cycle analysis of onshore windfarms can be conducted to demonstrate level of net carbon benefit and promote good practice - particularly in terms of peat soils and forestry impacts.

Western Isles Renewables Steering Group

The Scottish Government commissioned a study into how renewable energy and other projects can deliver economic and community benefit to the Western Isles while remaining consistent with conservations obligations. This followed the decision to refuse planning consent for the Lewis Windpower Ltd application on environmental grounds.

The report published in January 2009 confirmed that renewables hold the main economic potential for the Western Isles, with onshore wind offering the most opportunities in the short term, but that marine could play an increasing key role in the longer term.

Delivery of the actions coming out of the Study will be overseen by a Steering Group, chaired by the Scottish Government, and made up of local stakeholders.

Onshore wind Key Actions 2009-11




Resource implications (e.g. staff and/or funding)


Key Priority

  • Decision on Beauly-Denny upgrade.
  • By end 2009
  • SG


Key Priority

  • Map and identify solutions to aviation/radar issues, particularly in the South and West of Scotland.
  • By end 2009
  • SG


  • Commission study on how best to tackle the issue of excess energy generation at times of low demand and consider the potential for more storage capacity on the Grid.
  • By end March 2010
  • SG

Supply Chain

  • Consider need to conduct an onshore wind supply chain study and follow up with components manufacturers identified in the study to raise awareness of the short and medium term supply chain opportunities in the onshore wind sector.
  • By January 2010
  • Consider possible incentives to encourage more onshore wind supply chain start-ups close to areas of peak demand.
  • By April 2010

R & D

  • Continue to promote awareness of SMART, SPUR and other schemes amongst small turbine manufacturers and encourage applications.
  • ongoing
  • SG/ SEnn

Wind to Heat

  • Promote micro- business take-up of wind to heat systems through support mechanisms for SMEs, with a particular focus on rural areas.
  • By 2010
  • SRDP

Strategic approach in sensitive areas

  • Measurable Progress on Western Isles Economic and Community Benefits: Renewables Implementation Plan.
  • By end 2009
  • SG, Comhairle, other local stakeholders

Public Relations

  • Via the redesigned Scottish Government Renewables website, promote the less-heralded benefits of onshore wind developments.
  • By end 2009
  • SG


Planning process

  • Continue to improve s36 Consents process and reform of planning system to aid delivery of appropriate projects.
  • ongoing
  • SG
  • Encourage all local planning authorities to implement SPP recommendation to develop preferred areas for renewables development.
  • 2009
  • SG
  • Encourage a Scotland-wide consistency in approach to the application for and consideration of on-shore wind developments through a series of seminars involving LPAs and developers.
  • SG/ SRF

Good practice on carbon accounting

  • Build on work undertaken by University of Aberdeen and Forest Research on carbon life-cycle analysis of windfarms on peat soils and forestry in order to provide robust openly available model for inclusion in EIA as good practice.
  • By 2010
  • SG, FCS, Forest Research, University of Aberdeen
  • Consult with a view to determining acceptable carbon payback levels on peatland developments.
  • By 2010
  • SNH/ SG
  • Ensure that the Scottish Government's policy on control of woodland removal is promoted to developers and key stakeholders and guidance established for its appropriate implementation.
  • 2009
  • FCS/ SG



  • To make a significant contribution to 2020 renewables targets and beyond. To maximise economic benefits to the Scottish economy, and enable a young industry to establish, whilst working in harmony with the marine environment.


Scotland has a strong story to tell on offshore wind development, with our world-class manufacturing and operational experience, much of it gained over 40 years in the offshore oil and gas industry. Scotland is a leader in deepwater offshore wind technology, with experience of building, installing and maintaining the European FP6 DOWNVInD offshore wind demonstrator, known as Beatrice. Together these will be key to Scotland realising its full offshore wind potential, estimated to be 25% of Europe's offshore wind potential 4.

It is therefore no surprise that The Crown Estate's recent announcement of the granting of 10 "exclusivity agreements" 5 for offshore wind developments within Scottish Territorial Waters ( STW) 6 was widely welcomed as an ambitious yet realistic challenge for the industry. Developments on such a scale will make a significant contribution to the 2020 renewable target for electricity generation, with 6.4 GW of potential renewable power estimated for the STW sites and a further 2 Round 3 sites bordering on Scottish waters having also been identified.

Offshore wind development of this scale has yet to be seen in Scotland, the UK and Europe. The scale of STW and Round 3 developments (30 GW+) makes the UK the number one European market for offshore wind. Given our offshore wind experiences to date, Scotland is well placed to be a front runner, capitalising on the technology and supply chain challenges facing this new industry, securing high value skilled jobs in Scotland and contributing to Scotland's sustainable economic growth. However Scotland's ambitions are much greater than only focusing on domestic opportunities. Given the scale of Round 3 developments in UK waters and the increase in offshore wind throughout Europe, the opportunities for Scotland to position itself as a European hub for offshore wind development, be it manufacturing or maintenance, are huge. Scottish companies must act now to seize these opportunities. For these reasons SDI, SEn and HIE are working closely with Scottish companies to ensure they are ready to embrace this challenge.

Experience of Beatrice demonstrator offshore windfarm project

The Beatrice Wind Farm is the world's first deep water offshore windfarm. This demonstrator project, known as DOWNVInD, has been undertaken by Talisman Energy Ltd in partnership with Scottish and Southern Energy, having secured £3 million funding support from the Scottish Government as well as funding from the UK Government and European Commission.

The Beatrice Demonstrator is located adjacent to the Beatrice oil platform in the Moray Firth, and aims to prove the viability of wind farms in deeper water (up to depths of 45 metres). At an overall height from below the sea bed to blade tip of 234.5m, they are the world's largest turbines to be used in an offshore installation. The 2 wind turbines with a capacity of 5 MW are providing 30% of Beatrice oil platform's 14 MW daily electricity requirements.

Several Scottish companies were involved in the manufacturing and realisation of the Beatrice windfarm. This flagship project for offshore wind energy development in Scotland, the UK and Europe demonstrates the importance of a strong local supply chain.

To realise our ambitions for offshore wind development in STW, the Scottish Government recently established a new FREDS sub-group, the Offshore Wind Industry Group ( OWIG). Involving all of the developers of the 10 STW sites, the key public bodies ( SG, SEn, HIE, SDI and The Crown Estate) as well as academics, National Grid and the Scottish transmission companies, the purpose of the group is to identify and undertake the actions needed to establish a strong and competitive offshore wind industry in Scotland.

Given the exciting ambitions for offshore wind development in Scotland, the remit of the FREDS Marine Energy Spatial Planning Group ( MESPG) extends to cover offshore wind responsibilities in addition to marine renewables. MESPG is taking forward a Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) for offshore wind in STW. The granting of The Crown Estate leases for the STW sites will be subject to the outcomes of the SEA which will be published in early 2010. In the meantime, MESPG and The Crown Estate are encouraging developers with interests in adjacent sites to take forward environmental studies in a collaborative manner.

Whilst a great deal of activity is happening within STW, there are also many opportunities outside of Scotland in terms of The Crown Estate's Round 3 process in UK waters and the large scale introduction of offshore wind across Europe. To ensure Scotland is at the heart of these wider opportunities, the Scottish Government is actively involved in a number of wider groups, ensuring that Scotland's offshore capabilities, experiences and skills are promoted.

At a UK level, the Scottish Government is working closely with the UK Government in coordinating the delivery of Round 3 and STW round. The Scottish Government is a member of DECC's Offshore Wind Delivery Group (Of WID) supporting the developing of offshore wind across the UK and the Electricity Networks Strategy Group ( ENSG) responsible for strategically managing future investment in grid infrastructure to support the increase in renewable electricity generation.

Scotland is also making its mark in offshore wind policy across Europe as we promote our strengths. The Scottish European Green Energy Centre ( SEGEC) will identify suitable EU funding, with a view to encouraging further investment in Scottish projects now and as Europe's offshore wind sector grows. The Scottish Government is also a strong advocate of the need for European Offshore Supergrids. As well as being actively involved in the EU's Offshore Grid Working Group, the Scottish Government is also a leading partner in the ISLES project alongside Ireland and Northern Ireland with a view to the future construction of an offshore grid in the Irish Sea.

Fuller details are available in the earlier Infrastructure section.

Burntisland Fabrications Ltd ( BiFab) - Adapting to Changing Markets

BiFab is a highly successful Scottish company involved in large scale fabrication for the off-shore energy market. Set up in 2001 at its base in Burntisland, Fife following a management buy out, BiFab currently employs over 250 people at fabrication centres in Burntisland, Methil and Arnish on the Isle of Lewis.

The company?s success has been built around the skills of the team that has produced major fabrications for the oil and gas sector since 1990. The company continues to focus on offshore energy, but the management team has realised that this sector is now changing and includes renewables markets such as
offshore wind, wave and tidal power. This vision sees BiFab ideally placed to exploit these emerging opportunities. It had a key role in the development and construction of two support structures for the experimental Beatrice DOWNVInD project and in 2009 BiFab secured a £50 million contract from Ormonde Energy Limited to manufacture 30 offshore structures for a wind farm in Cumbria.

A positive example of the European opportunities available to Scottish companies is BiFab securing the contract to supply 6 off jacket sub-structures for the German test field project Alpha Ventus. These structures are on schedule for delivery August 2009.


  • to drive the success of the Scottish offshore wind industry, and facilitate the timely development and installation of offshore wind projects within Scottish Territorial Waters and Round 3 sites adjacent to Scottish Territorial Waters;
  • to build Scotland's position as a key base for the offshore wind, innovation, manufacturing and installation, leveraging its oil and gas experience.


  • Scotland as a European leader in the offshore wind industry, enhancing our existing infrastructure, experience and skills;
  • appropriate infrastructure, supply chain and grid capacity capable of supporting offshore wind development in Scotland and construction of infrastructure to service developments in the UK and Europe;
  • skilled jobs for Scotland in research, development, construction, installation, operation and maintenance of wind turbines;
  • Scotland as a hub for technology innovation for offshore wind through participation in offshore testing and demonstration programmes, such as DECC's ETF scheme and the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator programme;
  • guidance for offshore wind development in Scotland following the completion of the offshore wind SEA. Geographical areas most suitable for offshore wind development will be highlighted as will areas where significant sensitivities and constraints exist;
  • existence of a streamlined marine consenting regime for processing offshore wind applications swiftly, encouraging good quality offshore wind developments to take place in Scotland;
  • supportive local authorities and communities benefitting directly from offshore wind developments in their area through supply chain opportunities, and well-sited developments working in harmony with their local environment.

Offshore wind Key Actions 2009-11




Resource implications

Making Scotland a leader in offshore wind development, building on its existing infrastructure, experience and skills

  • Delivery and continual updating of the Offshore Wind Industry Group's Work plan.
  • Ongoing
  • Offshore Wind Industry Group
  • Commissioning of a Supply Chain study to identify industry requirements and match these to indigenous capabilities and highlight any gaps.
  • Autumn 2009
  • SEnn and HIE led
  • In partnership with industry, hold a series of events to promote supply chain opportunities.
  • Autumn 2009/
  • Spring 2010
  • SEnn and HIE in partnership with The Crown Estate
  • Produce wind market forecast to highlight market opportunities to Scottish companies.
  • Summer 2009
  • SEnn
  • Investigate what can be learnt from the oil and gas sector e.g. common codes for health, safety and environmental issues. Explore common supply chain competencies and offshore technology and subsea expertise. Hold workshop for offshore wind developers and oil and gas sector.
  • 2010
  • SEnn and HIE led
  • Build on ongoing work identifying skill gaps to support the formation of a robust training system and to provide clear messages on the training needed for those entering Scotland's Offshore Wind Industry.
  • Ongoing
  • Scottish Renewable Energy Skills Group, with SRF and offshore wind developers

Further development of offshore wind technologies

  • Identify innovation opportunities by collaborating with technology development and demonstration initiatives.
  • Autumn 2009 onwards
  • Offshore Wind Industry Group in collaboration with DECC, Carbon Trust, ETI and The Crown Estate
  • Champion and co-ordinate the delivery of appropriate Scottish regions as clusters for integrated innovation, manufacturing, port and grid infrastructure.
  • Autumn 2009 onwards
  • Developers in collaboration with BERR, DECC, Carbon Trust and The Crown Estate
  • Promote collaborations aimed at reducing the cost and improving competitiveness of offshore wind e.g. Offshore Wind Test Centre
  • Autumn 2009
  • SEn/ HIE/ SDI

Planning and investing in the necessary grid infrastructure for connecting proposed offshore wind developments

  • Consideration of strategic grid solutions for each zone of proposed offshore wind sites.
  • Summer 2009 onwards
  • National Grid led with input from developers and transmission companies
  • Creation of offshore grid sub-group for developers to investigate collaborative options for connecting offshore generation to shore. Identify economic opportunities in offshore cabling and transmission.
  • Summer 2009 onwards
  • SDI led with input from developers, SG grid team and The Crown Estate

Ensuring the development of offshore wind complements Scotland's marine environment

  • Taking forward of the SEA for Offshore Wind in Scottish Territorial Waters.
  • To complete early 2010
  • MESPG led
  • Encourage co-ordinated regional approaches (based around offshore wind sites) to generic environmental scoping studies.
  • 2010
  • MESPG led with developers input
  • Aiming to ensure wider consistency in marine planning approaches for Scotland and with approaches in English and Irish seas.
  • 2010
  • SG led via participation in:
  • ISLES project
  • British Irish Council marine workstream
  • Marine Scotland will be responsible for marine planning under the current proposals in our Marine Bill.

Design of a streamlined marine consenting regime

  • Establish group to design a marine consenting regime with appropriate structure and resources for handling of numerous offshore wind applications.
  • Summer 2009-2010
  • MESPG led

Ensuring appropriate financial incentives are available to ensure investment in proposed projects

  • Direct engagement in DECC's consultation on proposal in Budget to raise ROC banding for offshore wind.
  • Summer 2010
  • SG Offshore renewables team dialogue with DECC



  • To create the world's leading marine energy industry that will provide a substantial contribution to the economy and environment of Scotland.


With a significant wave and tidal stream resource estimated at around 21.5 GW7, The Scottish Government is proud of Scotland's position as a strong leader in marine energy renewables. With our impressive record of developing and exporting innovative wave and tidal stream renewable technologies, launching the £10 million Saltire Prize - the world's largest marine energy prize, to hosting the world's only accredited wave and tidal testing centre for marine renewables, the European Marine Energy Centre ( EMEC), in Orkney, Scotland has a strong story to tell in the development of marine renewables.

Rough Sea photo

However, we are well aware that other countries are putting a higher emphasis on marine renewables with the potential to challenge Scotland's leading status. For Scotland to retain its position as the world leader in the development of the sector, it is vital that Scotland's marine renewables industry continues to build upon its unique skills, experiences and expertise to date and that our infrastructure, supply chain and marine planning/consenting systems remain attractive to marine developers as the sector grows.

This route map for marine renewables focuses on wave and tidal stream devices, tidal barrage is not included. Development of tidal barrage technology is focused around the Severn currently. This route map builds on some of the key points that are currently being taken forward within the FREDS Marine Energy Group ( MEG). The full details of MEG's work will be set out in its Marine Energy Road Map which will be published in the Summer.

MEG was reconvened in January 2009 to review its earlier Marine Renewables report of 2004. Consisting of Scotland's leading wave and tidal stream developers, the key public bodies ( SG, SEn, HIE, SDI and The Crown Estate) as well as EMEC, academics, National Grid and Scotland's transmission companies, the purpose of this exercise was to provide an industry led up-to-date reassessment of Scotland's marine renewables sector. By mapping the actions necessary to realise the maximum contribution of wave and tidal stream generation to Scotland's renewable energy mix by 2020 (and beyond), we will continue to ensure Scotland's world leading status in the development of these technologies.

The Marine Energy Road Map when published will outline industry's view on the key issues to be addressed and the subsequent actions to be taken. MEG will then deliver on the Road Map with a two fold view: (i) to promote the market opportunity for marine energy generation in Scotland and, (ii) to ensure that Scottish companies are well placed to capture these opportunities.

The graph below demonstrates projections on possible patterns of deployment of installed marine energy capacity in Scotland. The factors modelled in the graph are as follows:

  • Initial growth profile to 2012-13 (slow, medium, fast);
  • Subsequent growth rate (e.g. 10% to 50% per annum);
  • A variable capped annual capacity installation rate due to possible market constraints;
  • A delay scenario due to market constraints or technology difficulties.

Figure 6: Possible Deployment of Installed Marine Capacity in Scotland

Figure 6: Possible Deployment of Installed Marine Capacity in Scotland

The graph sets out the following 3 scenarios 8:

  • 'Low Scenario' - 0.5 GW installed by 2020;
  • 'Medium Scenario' - at least 1 GW installed by 2020, with slower initial deployment and faster capacity building;
  • 'High Scenario' - at least 2 GW installed by 2020

The scenario reached at 2020 by Scotland's marine renewables industry will be dependent on the extent to which the opportunities, ambitions and actions detailed further below are delivered upon.

FREDS Marine Energy Spatial Planning Group ( MESPG) alongside MEG has a supportive role to play in facilitating the development of offshore renewables. Chaired by Marine Scotland, MESPG has agreed a project plan focussing on (i) marine planning, (ii) simplified consenting, (iii) environmental monitoring and research, and (iv) linking to/facilitating regional initiatives. Its priority task is to develop locational guidance for the marine renewable sector. This can include marine spatial planning, other marine planning approaches, strategic environmental assessment and the appropriate assessment elements where European designated areas or species may be affected by development plans. The immediate focus is around the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters region to respond to The Crown Estate's recent leasing round, however other areas such as the Western Isles and Solway Firth are beginning to emerge as potential regional initiatives under MESPG.

Interest in marine renewable activity in Scotland is at an all time high following this leasing round. Having received 42 applications for leases for wave and tidal stream deployment, with the potential for generating over 700 MW of renewable power, The Crown Estate will award its commercial leases by the end of 2009. The realisation of this first round of marine renewable leases in Scotland, represents the first large scale co-ordinated deployment of marine devices on a commercial scale. The world's industry will be watching with interest as developers embark on the challenges of manufacturing, deploying and operating their projects. The delivery of MEG's Marine Energy Road Map and MESPG's Project Plan will go some way to helping support this exciting first round of commercial deployments.

To support delivery of such wide scale deployment in Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters and in the future, elsewhere in Scotland, access to the relevant infrastructure and supply chain is needed. Appropriate port and harbour facilities, access to vessels, large scale manufacturing facilities and specialised local skills in developing, deploying and maintaining marine devices will all be needed in Scotland if it is to retain its position as leader in marine renewables. Very similar challenges exist for the offshore wind sector, therefore, the Scottish Government with the support of SEn, HIE and SDI will take a co-ordinated approach to the development of Scotland's infrastructure and supply chain capabilities addressing the needs of both sectors.

EMEC - A centre of excellence for marine renewables

The European Marine Energy Centre ( EMEC) is the world's first grid-connected, independent, UKAS accredited test facility for wave and tidal power generation. Located in Orkney, the Centre is the result of investment from several public sector partners, including the Scottish and UK Governments, the Scottish enterprise networks and Orkney Island Council.

EMEC provides grid connected berths and a range of services for device developers, including independent assessment of devices' energy conversion capabilities, structural performance and survivability, as well as monitoring and assistance with consent and regulatory issues.

The Centre will host several of the wave and tidal prototypes being built with funding under the Scottish Government's Wave and Tidal Energy Scheme ( WATES).

Its role extends beyond the provision of real-life testing conditions, and is leading the development of industry-wide standards for the marine energy sector.

EMEC is building up important skills and knowledge as it supports developers deploy and test their devices. This knowledge and skills base will be vital to the sector as developers now look to deploy their devices in the sea on a pre-commercial scale.

The continual development of existing and new wave and tidal technologies will be crucial to the long-term success of the sector. Scotland is leading the world in the development of these technologies and working with organisations such as the Carbon Trust, the Energy Technologies Institute ( ETI) and Scotland's Energy Technology Partnerships ( ETP), we're determined to retain our leading status. Developing technologies for the generation of renewable energy at home and securing strong export opportunities abroad.

The Carbon Trust - Supporting greater efficiency in marine energy extraction

The Carbon Trust is giving supporting to MacTaggart Scott to develop new hydraulic generator technology to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of marine energy extraction.

The challenge:

Most Wave Energy Converters ( WECs) use hydraulics for power take-off ( PTO) systems. A concept called 'full reactive control' has been identified as one way of improving performance, but because it is complex and uses many moving parts it is susceptible to failure and requires further development. MacTaggart Scott wanted to develop a new PTO system with full reactive control but without the high price tag. They planned to reduce maintenance and life cycle costs by using fewer moving parts.

The company is experienced in building hydraulic motors for military and civil applications - from aircraft carriers to the lift gear on Tower Bridge. They plan to apply this expertise to the development of an efficient hydraulic generator system.

The approach:

The aim is to develop a key component of the power take-off system for Wave Energy Converters that is more efficient and more reliable than conventional systems. By using a reactive control system, it will be possible to 'tune' the hydraulics to capture power from waves more efficiently. A prototype will be developed and tested before further 'at sea' testing, to determine the likely performance and cost savings of the technology. The Carbon Trust is also helping MacTaggart Scott establish connections with wave technology developers to help scope the design parameters and assist at later development stages.

Whilst considerable progress is being made in Scotland, the Scottish Government is keen to develop the sector more widely, throughout the UK and Europe. It is doing so in a number of ways such as leading on the British Irish Council ( BIC) Marine Energy workstream which is actively seeking collaborative opportunities with other BIC member administrations such as Ireland. The creation of the Scottish European Green Energy Centre ( SEGEC) will make a strong contribution in promoting the sector's potential at the European level. Working closely with the European Ocean Energy Association ( EUOEA) and the European Commission, SEGEC will actively pursue relevant EU funding opportunities for Scottish projects.


  • A world leading marine industry which:
    • Meets and exceeds 2020 targets
    • Brings strong economic benefits to Scotland's economy
    • Works in harmony with the marine environment
    • Exports innovative marine technologies across the world


  • Scotland as recognised global leader on marine renewables in terms of technology exporter, experience and expertise around deployment.
  • Appropriate infrastructure, supply chain and grid capacity capable of supporting wave and tidal energy development in Scotland and construction of infrastructure to service developments in the UK and Europe.
  • Encouraging the existing supply chain to prepare itself for the opportunity presented by the emerging marine renewables sector, and work with businesses interested in diversifying to service this expanding market
  • Skilled jobs for Scotland in the development, construction, installation and operation of marine energy devices.
  • A robust Marine Spatial Plan with a strong understanding of Scotland's marine users, uses, sensitivities and sectoral requirements, This will encourage developers to deploy marine renewable projects in the most suitable locations within Scotland's seas.
  • Existence of a streamlined marine consenting regime for processing marine renewable applications swiftly, encouraging good quality marine renewable developments to take place in Scotland.
  • Supportive local authorities and communities benefiting directly from the development of marine renewables in their area through supply chain opportunities and appropriately positioned developments working in harmony with their local environment.

Marine energy Key Actions 2009-11





Ensuring Scotland remains as the global lead in marine renewables, building on its existing infrastructure, experience and skills

  • MEG to publish a Marine Energy Road Map and work towards delivering the key recommendations.
  • Summer 2009
  • MEG led
  • MEG commissioned study into investment necessary to (i) derisk technology and (ii) provide necessary supporting infrastructure.
  • Study commissioned June 2009
  • MEG led
  • MEG to use findings of its commissioned supply chain study and work of MEG finance sub-group to recommend financial solutions for de-risking technology.
  • Summer - Autumn 2009
  • SEn and HIE led
  • Findings of commissioned supply chain study to be used to strategically plan the types (and locations) of infrastructure and supply chain needs necessary to manufacture, deploy and service devices.
  • Summer - Autumn 2009
  • SEn, HIE and SDI led
  • Awareness raising events to be held for Scottish companies to promote the supply chain opportunities within the marine renewables industry.
  • 2009/10
  • SEn and HIE led with support of The Crown Estate
  • To support the development of Scotland's supply chain, consideration of initiatives such as The Carbon Trust's Marine Energy Accelerator component technologies initiative.
  • 2010
  • SEn, HIE, developers Carbon Trust
  • To identify the skills necessary to support the development of marine renewables and feed these into the Scottish Renewable Energy Skills Group.
  • Autumn 2009-2010
  • SEnn, HIE, SG and marine developers

Planning and investing in the necessary grid infrastructure for connecting proposed marine renewable projects

  • MEG Grid sub-group to identify grid reinforcements for accommodating rapid connections at specified locations within Pentland Firth/Orkney Waters and Western Isles.

  • Iteration to optimise locations and grid solutions.
  • June 2009
  • MEG Grid sub-group
  • MEG Grid sub-group to make a recommendation to HIE and SG on a short term national solution for applications seeking grid connection.
  • June 2009
  • MEG Grid sub-group
  • MEG to consider how it can work with Government to continue to make its case to OFGEM for changes to the existing charging regime.
  • Summer-autumn 2009
  • MEG input to SG Grid team

Improving knowledge and understanding of Scotland's seas to strategically manage the deployment of marine devices to minimise disruption

  • MESPG commissioned a non-statutory Interim Marine Spatial Plan for Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters. Consultation later in 2009 with publication in 2010.
  • Early 2009 - early 2010
  • MESPG led
  • Undertaking of monitoring and research programmes to better understand the impact of marine technologies on the marine environment.
  • Autumn 2009 onwards
  • MESPG led

Design of a streamlined offshore consenting regime

  • Marine Scotland to establish a group to develop the marine consenting regime and compile guidance for developers.
  • Summer 2009 - 2010
  • MESPG led

Ensuring appropriate financial incentives are available to ensure investment in proposed projects

  • To set out the key recommendations of the MEG finance sub-group within the Marine Energy Report.
  • Summer 2009
  • MEG led
  • To present options to Scottish and UK Ministers for addressing the identified gaps in marine funding:
  • appropriate support for encouraging continual technology development;
  • gap for pre-commercial/commercial demonstration projects.
  • Autumn 2009-2010
  • MEG led

Promoting Scotland's lead in marine renewables, engaging with and influencing key players in Europe and beyond

  • For SEGEC to appoint a marine renewables desk officer capable of promoting the successes of Scotland's industry in Europe.
  • Summer-Autumn 2009
  • For SEGEC to develop a close relationship with the EUOEA and European Commission, aimed to drawing down appropriate European funding for Scottish marine projects.
  • Ongoing
  • To continue promoting the Saltire Prize at an international scale, encouraging new marine developers and innovators to deploy in Scottish waters.
  • Ongoing
  • SDI