Consultations launched on offshore wind policy and new marine plan.
The Scottish Government has launched two key consultations to inform the pipeline of future offshore wind development in Scotland and improve understanding on its role in meeting ‘net zero’ targets.
Views are being sought on the draft Offshore Wind Policy Statement in addition to the much anticipated draft Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy, which outlines how the Scottish Government proposes to maximise the opportunities that offshore wind presents, with due regard for the marine environment, other users of the sea, and planning responsibilities. The draft Sectoral Marine Plan will inform the next round of seabed leasing for offshore wind in Scottish waters, being taken forward on Scottish Ministers’ behalf by Crown Estate Scotland.
Scotland’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said:
“Earlier this year the Scottish Government declared a climate emergency and outlined our commitment to become a net-zero emissions economy and society by 2045; a goal which will require significant growth in the available supply of renewable electricity as we decarbonise heat and transport systems. The offshore wind sector is already playing an increasingly vital role in helping us to realise that ambition, but we want to make the most of the opportunities that sector represents, in terms of fixed foundation and floating wind technologies.
“Scotland is recognised internationally as a country with high ambition in terms of decarbonisation of our economy, and we are determined to build on our reputation as a renewable energy powerhouse. We aim to provide a supportive policy environment for offshore wind and leasing opportunities across our 462,000 km2 of seas that can sustain a healthy pipeline of sustainable projects capable of unlocking investment in the supply chain and providing both clean energy and opportunities for long term operations and maintenance jobs for coastal communities. Our plans, once finalised, will be vital in delivering the outcomes we want to see.”
Both consultations will be open for a period of 14 weeks from Wednesday 18 December 2019 until Wednesday 25 March 2020. An additional 2 weeks have been added to the standard 12 week consultation period to account for the Christmas and New Year holiday period.