Offshore renewable energy: decommissioning guidance for Scottish waters

Guidance to assist developers / owners of offshore renewable energy installations in Scotland to understand their decommissioning obligations under the Energy Act 2004.


1. The Scotland Act 2016 amends various provisions of the Energy Act, effectively making the Scottish Ministers responsible as the 'appropriate Minister' (instead of the Secretary of State (of the UK Government)) for the administration of the decommissioning scheme which governs OREI installations in Scottish waters on or after 1 April 2017. This guidance applies to those installations, as well as any legacy installations which have transferred to Scottish Ministers in accordance with the Scotland Act 2016 (Commencement No. 4, Transitional and Savings) Regulations 2017. The UK Government has produced separate guidance to cover decommissioning of installations in English and Welsh waters.

2. A map showing Scottish internal waters, territorial waters and the REZ

3. Guidance on environmental considerations for the development of offshore wind farms

4. Scottish Public Finance Manual

5. Decommissioning of OREIs under the Energy Act 2004 Guidance Notes for Industry (England and Wales) – March 2019

6. These purposes are set out in Section 104(5) of the Energy Act 2004: (a) the transmission, distribution and supply of electricity generated using water or winds; and (b) the doing of anything (whether by way of investigations, trials or feasibility studies or otherwise) with a view to ascertaining whether the generation of electricity in that manner is, in a particular case, practicable or commercially viable, or both.

7. Decommissioning of OREIs: concordat

8. Annex A paragraphs 7 and 8 set out how associated corporate bodies can also be held liable for decommissioning under the terms of the Energy Act 2004.

9. IMO Guidelines and standards for the removal of offshore installations and structures on the continental shelf and in the exclusive economic zone.

10. BEIS Decommissioning of Offshore Oil and Gas Installations and Pipelines – Guidance Notes

11. HM Treasury Guidance: The Green Book (2022)

12. The Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits ("UCP") is a set of rules on the issuance and use of letters of credit. A Bank Guarantee I considered a "Demand Guarantee" and as such is governed by the International Chamber of Commerce ("ICC") Uniform Rules for Demand Guarantees ("URDG").

13. This should include the costs of dealing with marine growth on structures / equipment.



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