Publication - Impact assessment

Offshore wind energy - draft sectoral marine plan: social and economic impact assessment

Published: 18 Dec 2019
Directorate:
Marine Scotland Directorate
Part of:
Energy, Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781839603792

A social and economic impact assessment to support development of the draft sectoral marine plan for offshore wind energy.

316 page PDF

4.9 MB

Contents
Offshore wind energy - draft sectoral marine plan: social and economic impact assessment
5 Social Impacts on Individuals, Communities and Society

5 Social Impacts on Individuals, Communities and Society

5.1 Approach to assessing social impacts

5.1.1 The framework used for the social impact assessment is described in Section 2.9. This section sets out the results from application of the framework. The detailed analysis is provided in Appendix G.

5.1.2 Impacts, both negative and positive, are considered cluster-by-cluster. Key impacts and available statistics are identified to enable a qualitative assessment of the likely impacts, noting that these could be negative as well as positive. The use of statistics provides the baseline against which changes can be considered with these then used to determine which rating of impact to apply. Where possible and appropriate, the statistics are based on those reported through the National Performance Framework dashboard, including the 81 national indicators[47]. This then allows the extent to which the sectoral marine plan could help deliver an improvement or risk a reduction in the indicators to be assessed. This assessment is undertaken at the regional and national level. Where necessary to provide additional coverage or further information, other statistics have also been reviewed, e.g. from the Scottish Household Survey.

5.1.3 Consideration is also given to impacts at the more local level, where specific impacts may affect either a particular location or a specific group of people. These effects are discussed as part of the distributional analysis within each cluster assessment.

5.1.4 Positive individual impacts range from minor (+ +) to moderate (+ + +). Impacts on individuals are expected to be greatest in the East and North East, and lowest in the North, West and South West. National impacts fall in between minor and moderate with maximum estimated 864 (low scenario, Type I) to 3,821 (high scenario, Type II) FTE jobs in any one year. Based on the definition of the ratings, individual impacts are projected to be sufficient to result in noticeable impacts for individuals living and working in the East and North East. Positive effects in other regions and nationally may be noticeable but they will be less significant.

5.2 Summary of impacts by cluster

5.2.1 The social impacts are presented against the following clusters:

  • Individual:
    • family, family life and inter-generation issues;
    • jobs, career, employment;
    • money, cost of living;
  • Community:
    • local jobs, local industry, community sustainability;
    • transport connections, technology connections;
    • education;
    • shops, housing;
    • socialising, recreation, parks, leisure;
    • friends, being involved, supporting others;
    • local identity, cultural heritage, Gaelic;
    • healthcare;
    • connection to nature, landscape;
    • local political and decision-making systems;
  • Wider political and environmental context:
    • landscape, seascape, wildlife, environmental change; and
    • national and EU level political and decision-making systems.

5.2.2 The impacts described are based on the changes that could occur due to economic impacts from the supply chain (positive in terms of jobs but also negative in terms of increased demand on services and changes to communities), and from negative economic impacts on other marine sectors. Impacts on the fishing industry in particular are identified since these have been estimated to potentially result in negative effects on GVA and jobs. Impacts on other sectors are also captured where these are reported in Section 3 (and Appendix D) even if these do not result in quantifiable economic impacts.

5.2.3 The main social impacts for the Individuals, presented in Table 40, are as follows:

  • increased employment (864 to 3,821 new jobs under different scenarios with upper bound including induced effects)
  • with potential for knock-on positive impacts for family life and disposable income, with potential positive effects for child wellbeing;
  • Increase in potential for people to develop careers locally in skilled occupations (e.g. in engineering and construction sectors) and in a range of locations

The majority of impacts will be more greatly felt in the East and North East, with rural and coastal areas likely to see positive impacts due to the location of offshore wind developments. Against this, losses could be expected in the fishing community and support industries, currently concentrated in the North East. It is important to consider the risk of losing the critical mass needed to support the fishing industry, should the reduction in output and demand for services be significant. The figures provided in this report (e.g. impacts on outputs and employment) can assist with this discussion, but this is beyond the scope of this SEIA.

Negative individual impacts range from minor (- -) to moderate (- - -), although almost all impacts across all regions are rated minor. Only the North East sees moderate negative impacts with these associated with impacts on fishing communities specifically. These impacts are likely to be sufficient for concerns to be raised by members of the fishing community, but most other groups within the community will not see any significant noticeable individual impacts. Nationally, the impacts are expected to be minor (- -). Overall the impacts are expected to be slightly significant due to effects on fishing communities.

5.2.4 Greater income for individuals leads to more spend in communities with knock-on impacts in terms of income from those working in supply chain and services. The main social impacts for the community, presented in Table 41, are:

  • Potential for business growth from spend with Present Value GVA impacts over the appraisal timeframe of £515 million (low, Type I) to £2,137 (high, Type II);
  • Positive effects from spend in renewable energy, high growth and clean growth businesses; and
  • Opportunities to diversify into new business areas could help innovative businesses to grow and develop.

5.2.5 Minor impacts are expected in connections and education. However, impacts are likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs which could result in hubs providing high skilled jobs. These are likely to be around the ports that can offer the facilities needed by wind farm developments, in the East and the North East.

5.2.6 Social impacts for the wider political and environmental context are summarised in Table 42. The main impacts at national level are related to Scotland’s reputation as a leader in renewable energy. This could in turn bring future spending linked to growth of the supply chain and the increasing supply chain capacity. The impacts will vary across regions however in terms of impacts on landscape, seascape and environmental impacts. The largest impacts are expected in the East, the North East and the North regions although mitigation measures are expected to mitigate such impacts.

Table 40 Impacts on individuals

Family, family life and inter-generation issues Jobs, career, employment issues’ Money, costs of living
National positive impacts Minor (+ +) Moderate (+ + +) Minor (+ +)
Potential for increased employment and potential reduction in child material deprivation.
More disposable income and family time for those able to be employed locally helping to improve child wellbeing and happiness.
Potential for significant additional employment nationally with annual maximum of 864 (low, Type 1) to 3,821 (high, Type II) jobs.
Increase in paid employment from increase in jobs.
Increase in potential for people to develop careers locally in skilled occupations (e.g. in engineering and construction sectors).
Opportunities for people to take up skilled positions in a range of locations opening up options in terms of where they live. This may require access to training where community skill levels are lower.
Support to supply chain and other services, e.g. shops which could lead to positive effects on small businesses.
Potential reduction in net income spent on housing, fuel and food, and likely relative poverty after housing costs.
Additional jobs in skilled positions could help reduce debt and should reduce percentage of workers earning less than the living wage (although the skilled occupations may mean those taking up the jobs may already have been earning above the living wage).
Should maintain or increase proportion of households that are managing well through increased jobs and employment.
Greater income leads to more spend in communities with knock-on positive impacts in terms of income from those working in supply chain and services.
Key distributional effects Rural and coastal areas likely to see positive impacts due to location of wind farm developments.
Impacts greater in East than for national with higher retention or equal rates over all five activities.
Impacts may be greater in North East towards end of construction phase due to greater retention of spend in balance of plant and installation and commissioning, with positive effects for families associated with those jobs, but North East has the largest number of jobs potentially created of any one region (low 1,255 to high 4,250).
Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs and may positively affect specific groups with the required skills. Skills gaps are greater in the East and the West than in other regions, for skilled trade occupations, but for labour intensive (i.e. Machine operatives, Elementary staff) the region with the greatest skill gap is the North East (2017 data based on % of workforce with skills gaps by occupation). This could include people who previously worked in the oil and gas industry, if this declines over the appraisal timeframe and could be accomplished by upgrading skills through structured training. Impacts may be thus greater in North East towards end of construction phase due to greater retention of spend in balance of plant and installation and commissioning, with positive impacts in terms of 1,255 to 4,250 jobs.
The mix of short/long-term and skilled/unskilled positions will also affect how much of the positive economic impacts are felt in local communities.
Impacts in East greater than for national with higher retention or equal rates over all five activities resulting in potentially significant numbers of jobs (282 to 1,849).
Potential to reduce wealth inequality by providing skilled jobs in rural areas. Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs and may positively affect specific groups with the required skills. This could include people who previously worked in the oil and gas industry, if this declines over the appraisal timeframe, although the similar skills and earnings may then mean that the impacts in terms of income are reduced.
Positive impacts in rural areas and around ports that can provide the required facilities could affect coastal communities.
National negative impacts Minor (- -) Minor (- -) Minor (- -)
Less family time where workers move to new regions to take up jobs over week could affect child wellbeing and happiness.
Loss of income from reduced fishing activity and/or job losses and supply chains supporting fishing, plus knock-on effects from reduced spend in other services from reduction in income from fishing all potentially impacting on child material deprivation.
Losses of around 2.5 FTEs (low scenario, Type I) to 8.3 FTEs (high scenario, Type I) are projected such that impacts should be small.
Knock-on impacts in processing industries, income to ports and business for supply chain supporting fishing industry.
Loss of income to fishers and potential loss of jobs
Potential increase in cost of living due to increased demand, e.g. on housing or for services due to relocation of people to fill new jobs resulting from spend on wind farms.
Positive impacts may be clustered into hubs, and may not spill far outside those hubs, which could increase wealth inequality.
Key distributional effects May be larger impacts on fisher families where there are job losses, although losses of up to 8.3 FTEs (high scenario, Type I) are projected such that impacts should be small Direct impacts in terms of increased unemployment in the fishing community and support industries. A maximum of 4.7 FTEs (high, Type I) are estimated to be lost in the North East as a whole such that unemployment impacts are small in the context of the region but may be greater at the port level.
Other industry sectors may be affected where employees chose to take jobs in the wind farm industry, with potential knock-on negative effects on those sectors that lose employees.
May be larger impacts on fisher families where there are job losses, although losses of around 2.5 FTEs (low scenario, Type I) to 8.3 FTEs (high scenario, Type I) are projected such that impacts should be small. Fishers may also be able to supplement their income from offering services to the wind farm where impacts occur in the same or nearby locations.
A maximum of 4.7 FTEs (high, Type I) are estimated to be lost across the North East so while impacts may be larger locally, they are expected to be concentrated into small areas.

Table 41 Impacts on the Community

Local jobs, local industry, community sustainability Transport connections, technology connections Education Shops and Housing
National positive impacts Moderate (+ + +) Minor (+ +) Minor (+ +) Minor (+ +)
Significant potential for business growth from spend with Present Value GVA impacts over the appraisal timeframe of £515 million (low, Type I) to £2,137 (high, Type II).
Positive impacts from spend on renewable energy, high growth and clean growth businesses. Greater income for individuals leads to more spend in communities with knock-on effects in terms of income from those working in supply chain and services.
Opportunities to diversify into new business areas could help innovative businesses to grow and develop.
Investment in, e.g., ports could have positive impacts in terms of boat transport (ferries, also potential for cruise ships and recreation).
More demand for transport services (e.g. from larger population) could help support better quality or more frequent public transport services.
Demand for high-speed broadband from high growth businesses may help drive roll-out for households as knock-on positive impacts; growth of communities due to relocation to fill jobs may also help improve the case for roll-out of high speed broadband to more rural areas.
30+ year investment profiles can help drive local careers for local people, with opportunities to develop and use skills in a growing field.
Relocation of workers and their families could help support demand for services and could help secure the future of rural schools.
Significant potential for increased employment in skilled positions through creation of up to 864 (low, Type 1) to 3,821 (high, Type II) jobs. Relocation of families could result in more than 1,322 (low, Type I) to 5,846 (high, Type II) people (based on 2.04 people per household) increasing demand for schools for those families with children that relocate.
Greater demand for housing may lead to development of new, high quality, efficient new housing
More people moving into an area or more secure income could help increase spend in local shops and on local services (e.g. restaurants, bars) with knock-on positive effects on level and quality of services provided. Growth in spend from increased income may not be sufficient to see significant expansion of shops or other services, but could help support existing services (these impacts are captured though the Type II multiplier effects).
Key distributional effects Positive impacts may be clustered into hubs, and may not spill far outside those hubs, such that effects may be concentrated in localised communities. This could assist high growth and innovative businesses who will be able to build networks and share ideas better in hubs.
Impacts are generally smaller in North, West and South West than at the national level but should still be sufficient to enable expansion of local supply chains such that local incomes could increase.
Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs within each region since this will attract more people to move into the area and drive demand for transport and broadband services. Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of job, this could result in hubs providing high skilled jobs in concentrated locations. These are likely to be around the ports that can offer the facilities needed by wind farm developments.
Impacts greater in East than for national with higher retention or equal rates over all five activities with potential for greater opportunities in terms of skilled employment across all five activities.
Impacts in North East greater than for national for work on balance of plant and installation and commissioning. These activities last for around four years (for each package) so may be more likely to result in temporary positive effects on skills and increased workforce mobility.
Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs and may positively affect specific groups with the required skills. This could result in more demand in some areas than others, with greater impacts from spend of larger disposable incomes than in other areas.
Impacts in North East greater than for national with higher retention for balance of plant and installation and commissioning with potentially 1,938 (low, Type I) to 6,567 (high Type I) people moving into the region at peak employment times.
National negative impacts Minor (- -) Minor (- -) Minor (- -) Minor (- -)
May be larger impacts on fishing families where there are job losses, although losses of around 2.5 FTEs (low scenario, Type I) to 8.3 FTEs (high scenario, Type I) are projected such that impacts should be small. Loss of income may be more significant in terms of ability for fishing business owners to invest in their businesses.
Sustainability of some ports may also be affected by impacts on commercial shipping, while marinas may be affected by displacement of recreational boating and angling. May be some small effects at the local scale due to increases in costs associated with commercial shipping that could affect local ports.
Greater demand on transport services through increased traffic (directly associated with developments or indirectly due to more people moving to areas) could lead to greater congestion. There may also be increased demand for ferry services.
Impacts likely to be noticed by local community and could be significant enough to cause complaints, but there is time for spend within local areas to help encourage investment locally and reduce the risk of impacts.
Possible impacts on ferries, and hence quality of ferry services due to impacts on commercial shipping but these can be minimised through spatial planning to create safe shipping lanes.
More families relocating could increase demand on schools, resulting in greater class sizes and perceived reduction in quality of education that is being offered. Greater demand for housing may increase the cost of housing. Impacts may be significant at times of peak employment levels, but may not be sufficient to raise issues or concerns with the community over the longer term. Housing may continue to be affordable for those moving to take up skilled positions but may be negative for those already living in the area who may not have the skills needed.
Loss of income for fishers could reduce demand for specialist services supporting the fishing industry with potential loss of income.
Key distributional effects Impacts on fishing could affect specific elements of the community so be concentrated on family groups or locations within a town/village. A maximum of 4.7 FTEs are estimated to be lost in the North East so while impacts may be larger locally, they are expected to be concentrated into small areas. Spatial planning should reduce impacts on ports from any increased costs to shipping or displacement of recreational activities.
Transitions between construction and operational phases could result in negative impacts where there is a sudden decline in worker numbers, with knock-on effects on community sustainability
Impacts may be greater in terms of congestion where there are jobs in areas where the transport infrastructure is under-developed, but there is time for improvements to infrastructure before the maximum number of jobs are created.
Population increases of 1,938 (low, Type I) to 6,567 (high, Type I) in North East may have impacts on local transport services resulting in congestion, which could cause complaints but there is time for investment before the maximum number of jobs are created (2033).
May be larger impacts in areas where jobs are concentrated since this may be where most people relocate to, but could be wider impacts where families relocate to surrounding towns and villages.
The maximum number of people projected to move into the North East region is 938 (low, Type I) to 6,657 (high, Type I). This is a potentially significant increase in demand on services such as schools that could result in concerns being raised by local communities while the relatively short-term nature of work with the key activities could mean there is less opportunity for sustained demand that could enable expansion of schools.
Impacts will be concentrated in those areas where there are the greatest increases in jobs and hence largest potential for relocation into areas. Most areas affected will be ports and small coastal communities so they may have limited capacity to cope with increased populations.
The large number of people potentially moving into the North East region at peak employment time may cause concerns within the existing communities. Impacts from influx of construction workers (especially in the North East) may lead to greater housing demands over a reasonably concentrated period (of around 12 years in the North East, 4-8 years in East, 8-12 years in North, 4-8 years in West and 4-8 years in South West).

Table 41 (continues) Community

Socialising, recreation, parks, leisure Friends, being involved, supporting others Local identity, cultural heritage, Gaelic Healthcare
National positive impacts Negligible (+) Negligible (+) Negligible (+) Negligible (+)
Increase in local jobs could reduce commuting time so provide more free time for socialising and recreation.
Investment in ports could provide better facilities for recreational boating.
People moving into the area to take up new jobs could offer new opportunities through more support and involvement in recreational activities or facilities.
More local jobs could help result in better local networks, retention of friends, etc. by helping to keep people in their communities through ability to develop their career locally.
Projection of 216 (low) to 955 (high) local jobs across nation as a whole may be unlikely to be noticed by the majority of the population at national level however, with impacts more noticeable at local level.
More local jobs enable people to stay in the area and build a career, maintaining the local community and enhancing a sense of belonging.
People relocating to an area could provide more support for cultural activities and create more interest in local history and culture.
Potential knock-on positive impacts on creative industries from the level of spend in the area. Impacts on creative industries in terms of knock-on effects are small, estimated at 4% of GVA impacts for creative industries and 6% for cultural industries[48] such that impacts from increased income and spend will only be small. Over total Present Value GVA impacts (2020-2059) of £515 million (low, Type II) to £2,137 million (high, Type II), this gives positive impacts of £21 million to £85.5 million for creative industries and £31 million to £128 million for cultural industries. Over the country as a whole, this is unlikely to be noticeable.
Reduction in mental health conditions linked to increased job security, increase in income and reduction in money concerns.
Possible reduction in health risk behaviours due to correlation between increased income/reduced poverty and healthier living.
Key distributional effects Impacts may be greater in more rural areas, especially if there is increased access to greenspace. Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of local jobs and may positively impact specific groups with the required skills. This could include people who previously worked in the oil and gas industry, if this declines over the appraisal timeframe by avoiding them having to move out of the area to find jobs elsewhere with impacts on social networks
Projection of 314 (low) to 1,111 (high) local jobs across the North East region may be sufficient to have some noticeable impacts.
Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs (local and relocated) and where disposable income increases such that there is greater potential for spend on creative and cultural activities. Positive impacts for individuals taking up better paid jobs and knock-on impacts in terms of indirect and induced jobs, with potential greater impacts where there are concentrations of jobs.
Potential for increased employment with potential for knock-on impacts for mental wellbeing associated with improved income from 864 (low, Type I) to 3,821 (high, Type II) jobs and potential reduction in deprivation with associated positive effects for health.
National negative impacts Negligible (-) Negligible (-) Negligible (-) Negligible (-)
Possible small negative where workers travel to/from their place of work to home and where the family itself does not commute, but impacts likely to be small.
Relocation of workers on a temporary basis may mean they spend more time commuting to/from their family home potentially reducing free time. Shift work could also affect free time.
Potential impacts on recreational boating although these are expected to be small and recreational boats should be able to transit safely through wind farm arrays. Maybe some impacts for less experienced sailors or those looking for a remote coast experience.
Large numbers of new people relocating to an area could be perceived as being a threat to existing communities particularly in the short term.
Loss of fishing jobs or income could impact on networks for family businesses and the fishing community.
Projection of loss of 2.5 (low, Type I) to 8.3 (high, Type I) fishing jobs across the country is unlikely to be noticeable at the national level. Relocation of 648 (low) to 2,866 (high) jobs could have some community impacts but again these are unlikely to be noticeable across the country as a whole.
People relocating to an area could be perceived as changing the nature of the community and its culture and traditions and may reduce sense of identity. This may be greatest where there is an influx of construction workers (especially in the North East) during peak construction periods.
Impacts on fishers could impact on tradition of fishing and culture of fishing in community with spend on wind farms potentially changing areas from fishing towns to wind farm towns. Relocation of between a maximum in any one year of 648 (low) to 2,866 (high) jobs and loss of 2.5 (low, Type I) to 8.3 (high, Type I) FTEs from reduction in income to fishers from impacts on landings, but at a national level these changes are unlikely to be sufficient to be noticeable for the majority of communities.
Influxes of non-Gaelic speaking people could also affect continued use of the language.
Impacts on landscapes and seascapes could be viewed by receptors as changing the identity of areas due to development, but the impacts are expected to be small.
Increased demand from larger populations from those relocating to take up jobs could put healthcare services under additional stress, resulting in longer waiting times to see a GP, etc.
Relocation of 648 (low) to 2,866 (high) jobs with potential for increase in people moving to take up jobs of 1,322 (low) to 5,846 (high) (based on 2.04 people per household) unlikely to be noticeable at the national scale.
Key distributional effects Impacts may be greater where jobs are of short-time duration reducing likelihood that workers and their families would move. Impacts on recreational boating likely to be small and may be limited to perception of wind farms within the marine environment. Impacts unlikely to be sufficient to have a noticeable effect, but may be some perception impacts on the unspoilt nature of the coast around the Outer Hebrides (North). Impacts may be greater where the negative impacts affect concentrations of people within the local community, e.g. where there is an identifiable fishing community. Impacts may also be greater on those communities where there is a large influx of people moving for jobs such that housing costs increase affecting extent to which local people who are not able to take up the skilled positions becoming less able to afford to live in the same area that they grew up Impacts, or perception of impacts, likely to be greater where there is a concentration of relocated jobs and where there are specific impacts on fishing communities that could affect fishing traditions in those locations that are more significantly affected. Seascape changes may be greatest in North, West and South West, but are not expected to be significant in terms of cultural or local identity for the majority of the population, but may be noticed and commented on by some. Impacts likely to be greater in those locations where there are larger numbers of jobs that are created, especially if there are hubs that result in large numbers of people moving into relatively local areas. Impacts could then increase to Minor (- -) or even Moderate (- - -) where the additional population is sufficient to result in concerns being raised.

Table 41 (continues) Impacts on the Community

Connection to nature, landscape Local political and decision-making systems
National positive impacts Negligible (+) Negligible (+)
Local jobs in skilled areas may mean less commuting time that could provide more time for visits to the outdoors Physical activity is also associated with area based deprivation, with activity levels increasing when deprivation decreases.
Spend on renewables and wind farms may help encourage connection with sea through career, education, etc. and could be used as catalyst to increase connection with nature and the landscape.
Larger populations may be perceived as giving neighbourhoods a louder voice but unlikely to be significant impact for most of the community, with impacts relying on other factors to deliver a positive outcome such as location of relocated employees and their families and their willingness and interest to get involved in local decision-making. Good quality project management and engagement and consultation can help empower a community with potential spillover effects for wider engagement with local decision-making,
Key distributional effects Impacts likely to be greater where people move from more urban to more rural areas and where commuting times are reduced. Families relocating may see greater impacts than where the employee relocates for work and then returns home outside of working periods (e.g. weekends or end of shift). Impacts may be greatest in areas with the largest increases in populations, but the original communities may find themselves faced with more decisions (e.g. planning for new housing) and may not necessarily feel more involved, although they may feel that they need to get more involved.
National negative impacts Minor (- -) Negligible (-)
May be concerns over changes to landscape/seascape from wind farm development, from turbines once installed but also from changes to coastal landscapes if they become more commercial, less fishing oriented. Mitigation measures should ensure that any potential negative impacts are minimised as far as possible but some communities and/or individuals may perceive an impact. People relocating may result in larger communities with perception that individuals have less influence, or where more decisions need to be made due to increasing demands on services, it may feel that local communities have less influence. For most communities, there may be no change in involvement in local decision making due to spend on wind farms. Poor project management and engagement could disempower and disengage communities.
Key distributional effects Impacts may be greater where wind farms are located nearer to shore, or where there is more significant development of land for commercial/industrial purposes and where this is a change from current and use. This is likely to be associated with key ports, some of which already consist of industrial areas such that impacts may be minimised. Impacts on landscape may be associated with perception of changes to the landscape in North, West and South West. Impacts on local people may see a change in their perception of the landscapes and seascapes but the impacts are not expected to be significant for the majority of the population. Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs and where the population is increasing fastest as communities may feel that more decisions are being made than they can adequately influence. Influx of construction workers (especially in the North East during peak construction periods) may have an impact on local decision-making, especially if these are seen as transient communities that have no long-term positive impact due to their temporary nature.

Table 42 Wider political and environmental context

Landscape, seascape, wildlife, environmental change’ National and EU level political and decision-making systems
National positive impacts Moderate (+ + +) Moderate (+ + +)
Spend on renewable energy helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to cleaner economy.
Potential investment in new housing could lead to more efficient housing.
Plan projects renewable energy generation of 3 GW (low), 5 GW (medium) to 10 GW (high) at the national level (scaled back). This is associated with sufficient levels of spending to enable expansion of wind farm development supply chains in Scotland.
Scotland’s reputation as a leader in renewable energy would be supported and could bring future spending linked to growth of the supply chain and the increasing supply chain capacity. This could result in positive effects on exports through an increase in skills and innovation in business; governance through renewable energy development and contribution to reducing GHG emissions delivering positive environmental impacts; people through improving employability and development of skills; and investment and immigration through the perception of growth following development and the creation of 648 (low) to 2,866 (high) jobs available for those wishing to relocate.
Potential development and impacts that could be delivered could improve Scotland’s score through positively affecting many of the 81 national indicators and, consequently, up to four of the six dimensions of national competence.
Key distributional effects Impacts vary across regions, with highest level of projected development in North East region (low of 1.5 GW, medium of 3 GW and high of 4.5 GW). East and North regions both have projected development of 1 GW, 2 GW and 3 GW across the three scenarios with West at 0.5 GW, 1 GW and 2 GW and South West at 0.3 GW, 0.6 GW and 1 GW.
Proposed development of 1.5 GW (low scenario) to 4.5 GW (high scenario) in the North East is 50% higher than the next highest region with job opportunities.
Proposed development of 0.5 GW (low scenario) to 2 GW (high scenario) in West is lower than in most other regions (except South West) expected to be much larger than in other regions due to the supply chain that already exists.
Proposed development in South West of 0.3 GW (low scenario) to 1 GW (high scenario) is lower than all other regions.
Impacts likely to be greater where development is greater across the regions since this will deliver more positive impacts against the 81 national indicators and across the six dimensions of national competence.
Scale of development in East and North regions (1 GW, low to 3 GW, high). West (0.5 GW, low to 2 GW, high) and South West (0.3 GW, low to 1 GW, high) means that the influence from the East region may not be sufficient alone to significantly affect Scotland’s scores.
National negative impacts No impacts (neutral) Minor (- -)
No impacts expected due to mitigation measures that will be required for all developments. Assumes all mitigation measures are put in place and are sufficient to avoid environmental impacts. May be some perception of development of the coastline that could be considered to impact on landscapes but these are expected to be insignificant at the national level, with impacts on landscape more locally considered under the community clusters. Potential impacts on affected sectors such as fishing with estimated reduction of 2.5 (low, Type I) to 8.3 (high, Type I) FTEs as well as wider impacts from reduction of income from effects on landings. Scale of impact is unlikely to affect Scotland’s international reputation for seafood. Only likely to be noticeable in the fishing sector with knock-on impacts being small in most cases.
Key distributional effects Impacts likely to be greater where there is a concentration of jobs and where the population is increasing fastest as communities may feel that more decisions are being made than they can adequately influence. Impacts vary by port, with some ports being more affected than others such that impacts could be greater where landings are more affected.
In the North East region, a maximum of 4.7 FTEs (high, Type I) are estimated to be lost, as a result more significant impacts may be seen at the more local level.

Table 43 Summary of the results of the social impact assessment at national and regional level

Cluster National
impacts
Regional impacts
East North East North West South West
Individual: family, family life and inter-generation issues Minor
(+ +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Individual: jobs, career, employment Moderate
(+ + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Moderate
(- - -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Individual: money, cost of living Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Moderate
(- - -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Community: local jobs, local industry, community sustainability Moderate
(+ + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Community: transport connections, technology connections Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Moderate
(- - -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Community: education Minor
(+ +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Moderate
(- - -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Community: shops, housing Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Moderate
(- - -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Community: socialising, recreation, parks, leisure Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Minor
(- -)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Community: friends, being involved, supporting others Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Minor
(+ +)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Minor
(- -)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Community: local identity, cultural heritage, Gaelic Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Community: healthcare Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Minor
(- -)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Community: connection to nature, landscape Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Minor
(- -)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Community: local political and decision-making systems Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(+)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Minor
(- -)
Negligible
(-)
Negligible
(-)
Wider political and environmental context: landscape, seascape, wildlife, environmental change Moderate
(+ + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Major
(+ + + +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
No impacts No impacts No impacts No impacts No impacts No impacts
Wider political and environmental context: national and EU level political and decision-making systems Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Moderate
(+ + +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(+ +)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)
Minor
(- -)

Contact

Email: drew.milne@gov.scot