Draft Sectoral Marine Plans for Offshore Renewable Energy in Scottish Waters: Socio - Economic Assesment

The study reported here provides a high level socio-economic appraisal of the potential costs and benefits to activities that may arise as a result of offshore wind, wave or tidal development within the Draft Plan Options as part of possible future Scotti

9. National Assessments for Offshore Wind, Wave and Tidal Draft Plan Option Areas

Tables 53, 54 and 55 provide a summary of the estimated regional impacts for potential offshore wind, wave and tidal development within the Draft Plan Option areas (see Sections 4 to 8 for detail) to provide national estimates of cost impacts. These provide a high level description of how the PV costs (and GVA for fisheries) vary across the different activities.

Table 53. National PV Costs (and GVA for fisheries) in £millions for Offshore Wind (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices, numbers rounded to nearest £0.01m))

Activity Region Scenarios
Low Central High
Carbon Capture & Storage NE 1.85 4.32 9.27
Total 1.85 4.32 9.27
Commercial Fisheries SW 0.05 0.06 0.13
W 0.13 0.31 0.67
NW 0.11 0.27 0.58
N 0.74 1.8 3.9
NE 0.18 0.43 0.92
Total ( GVA) 1.21 2.87 6.2
Recreational boating SW 0.5 0.06 0.10
NE - 0.66 0.81
Total 0.5 0.72 0.91
Shipping SW 4.87 5.08 5.98
W - 3.80 7.88
NW - 1.45 2.90
N - 7.11 14.22
NE - 48.57 98.61
Total 4.87 66.01 129.59
Tourism SW - 0.03 0.33
W - 0.01 0.06
N - 0.22 0.59
Total - 0.26 0.98
Water Sports - Sea Angling N - - 0.47
Total - - 0.47
Total PV Costs 6.77 71.31 141.22
Total GVA Impacts (Commercial Fisheries) 1.21 2.87 6.2

Table 54. National PV Costs (and GVA for fisheries) in £millions for Wave Energy (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices, numbers rounded to nearest £0.01m))

Activity Region Scenarios
Low Central High
Commercial Fisheries W 0.01 0.01 0.03
NW 0.03 0.09 0.18
N 0.03 0.08 0.17
Total ( GVA) 0.07 0.18 0.38
Water Sports - Sea Angling N - - 0.10
Total - - 0.10
Total PV Costs - - 0.10
Total GVA Impacts (Commercial Fisheries) 0.07 0.18 0.38

Table 55. National PV Costs (and GVA for fisheries) in £millions for Tidal Energy (costs discounted over assessment period, 2012 prices, numbers rounded to nearest £0.01m))

Activity Region Scenarios
Low Central High
Commercial Fisheries SW 0.01 0.03 0.06
W 0.02 0.05 0.1
N 0.06 0.13 0.25
Total ( GVA) 0.09 0.21 0.41
Recreational boating SW - - 0.06
Total - - 0.06
Shipping SW - - 1.07
W - - 1.89
N - - 9.33
Total - - 12.29
Sea Angling (Water sports) N - - 0.35
Total - - 0.35
Total PV Costs - - 12.70
Total GVA Impacts (Commercial Fisheries) 0.09 0.21 0.41

For all offshore renewables technologies, the estimated cost impacts increase with increasing scale of development. The impact of offshore wind development is assessed as imposing much greater cost impacts on other activities compared to wave or tidal development. This is largely on account of the potentially much larger footprint for offshore wind development compared to the other technologies. Overall, offshore wind accounts for up to 93% of total estimated costs across the scenarios.

The main contributing factor to these cost impacts relates to impacts on the shipping sector (assessed as around £129m PV out of a total of £157m PV under the high scenario for offshore wind). Approximately £98m PV of this cost arises in NE SORER - OWNE1 and OWNE2 - with a further £14m PV cost associated with potential development in North SORER - OWN1 and OWN2.

Impacts to the commercial fishing sector are also significant. Around 90% of the assessed impacts to commercial fisheries sector relate to potential offshore wind development. Potential impacts in the North SORER at sites OWN1 and OWN2 account for around 63% of the total estimated costs to the commercial fisheries sector.

The assessment identifies relatively minor potential cost impacts to recreational angling and tourism. Potential costs to the CCS sector arise based on possible future development of a CCS pipeline from the Firth of Forth up to St Fergus and relate to additional costs that would be incurred to construct cable crossings over offshore wind export cables from OWNE1 in NE SORER. Given the uncertainties surrounding possible future CCS development, these cost estimates should be considered speculative at this stage.

Some potential impacts on recreational boating have been identified associated with additional fuel costs linked to increased steaming distances to navigate around offshore wind and tidal arrays. The largest estimated impacts occur for potential development in offshore wind Draft Plan Option areas in the North SORER ( OWN1 and OWN2) and North East SORER ( OWNE1 and OWNE2). Stakeholders have expressed concerns about the potential impact of cumulative offshore renewables development along the east and west coasts in deterring sailors from sailing along these coasts. This is considered further in Section 10.

Although there are possibly some negative impacts on some social groups (particularly special interest groups, such as recreational boaters, sea kayakers and sea anglers), these will be most noticeable at the local level. Tourism impacts may also occur due to changes in the landscape and seascape, but again these will be at a very localised scale. At the national scale, there are numerous alternative locations for these activities to take place, such that the overall impacts are negligible.

Impacts on employment due to reduced turnover are again only likely to be noticeable at the local level, and are mainly associated with commercial fisheries. For offshore wind, the maximum impact is in North region, with 9 to 10 direct and indirect jobs potentially affected per year. This is against a national total of 4,996 fishermen in 2011 [16] . At the national scale, the number of jobs affected (including both direct and indirect) is, therefore, negligible. As a result, knock-on effects due to downturns in local economies are unlikely. Therefore, at the national scale impacts would not be noticeable, although the impact at local level for communities that are heavily dependent on fisheries ( e.g. Orkney and the Shetland Islands) will be greater. At the national scale, the number of jobs affected (including both direct and indirect) is expected to be negligible.


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