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

C12. Telecom Cables

C12.1 Scoping Results

No information was received from industry regarding potential cable route replacements/extensions or future cable routes. As such it was not possible to identify any wind, wave or tidal Draft Plan Option areas or export cable corridors which may have a potentially negative effect on this sector and hence no areas could be taken forward for assessment.

C12.2 Assessment Results - Estimation of Costs and Benefits

C12.2.1 Increased Competition for Space

No information was received from the industry consultation regarding potential cable route extensions or future cable routes. As such no assessment could be undertaken of this potential cost impact to the sector.

C12.2.2 Cable/Pipeline Crossings

The standard industry cost of cable crossings is £0.5-£1million ( ODIS, 2011) and this assessment has assumed that this cost will be transferred to the renewables developer if the telecom cable extension/route is consented prior to the assumed lease agreement date for export cable corridors (2020).

However, concerns relating to cable crossing agreements were highlighted by consultation for another industry sector (Power Interconnectors, see Section C10) which would also apply to the Telecommunication sector. Specifically, industry have highlighted concerns relating to cable crossings and future liabilities, which if realised may have large cost impacts on the sector. It is not currently possible to estimate these cost impacts.

C12.2.3 Increased Difficulty of Access at Crossing Points

In addition to the above concerns relating to cable crossings, where there are multiple cables in close proximity, it is likely to become more difficult to retrieve cables for maintenance. Furthermore, where maintenance is required in the vicinity of cable crossovers, this is likely to preclude maintenance techniques which involve cable retrieval. Instead, more expensive maintenance methods will be required, relying on the use of divers or Remote Operated Vehicles ( ROVs). These methods will be significantly more expensive than traditional cable maintenance techniques ( ABPmer et al. 2011). No information was received from industry as to whether there were any particular areas of concern in relation to the proposed wind, wave or tidal Draft Plan Option areas and cable corridors or the significance of this issue.

C12.2.4 Summary

No information was obtained from the telecommunications cable industry regarding any areas of significant concern for the sector in relation to the proposed Draft Plan Option areas and export cable corridors. As such, no cost impact could be assessed for this sector. As for other industry sectors which utilise subsea cables or pipelines, the cost impacts of cable crossings and increased difficulty of access of maintenance are currently unclear.

C12.3 References

ABPmer, RPA and SQW, 2011. Economic Assessment of Short Term Options for Offshore Wind Energy in Scottish territorial Waters: Costs and Benefits to Other Marine Users and Interests. Report for Marine Scotland. Report R. 1743, March 2011.

Baxter, J.M., Boyd, I.L., Cox, M., Donald, A.E., Malcolm, S.J., Miles, H., Miller, B., Moffat, C.F., (Editors), 2011. Scotland's Marine Atlas: Information for the national marine plan. Marine Scotland, Edinburgh.

Kingfisher, 2013. Kingfisher Cable Awareness Charts.

ODIS, 2011. Offshore Development Information Statement: Appendices. Published by National Grid in September 2011.

Saunders, J., Tinch, R., Ozdemiroglu, E. & Hull, S., 2011. Valuing the Marine Estate and UK Seas: Dynamic Baseline Assessment (draft). Marine Estate Research Report for The Crown Estate.


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