Offshore wind policy statement: consultation analysis

Analysis of responses to the consultation on the offshore wind policy statement which ran from December 2019 to April 2020.


The Scottish Government conducted a consultation on the Offshore Wind Policy Statement (OWPS) from December 2019 to April 2020. It received 48 responses, which will play a vital role in supporting the Scottish Government (SG) to understand a range of views on the ways in which both fixed and floating offshore wind technologies can contribute to net zero by 2045, and the economic benefits to Scotland of commercialising offshore wind.

Scotland is recognised as having a world-renowned wind regime, supported by the Scottish Government through policy and the deployment of maritime technology. The recent consultation covered a broad range of issues across 24 consultation questions. These include Scotland's ambitions for offshore wind policy, barriers to the deployment of new technology, knowledge gaps, the future of the sector, economic opportunities in relation to supply and skills, and how the government can best support innovation.

The OWPS aims to amplify the opportunities that offshore wind presents, while being sensitive to the needs and interests of the marine environment, other vessels and maritime activities and wider factors like planning. It provides important context for Marine Scotland's draft Sectoral Marine Plan (SMP) for Offshore Wind. Both of these draft documents align with the Scottish Government's plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Profile of respondents

A range of respondents took part in the consultation. Most responses (42 out of 48) came from organisations; 6 were submitted by individuals. The profile of organisations that took part in the consultation is as follows:

  • Twelve energy companies or suppliers.
  • Eight organisations from the wider energy industry, e.g. the supply chain or infrastructure.
  • Eight membership associations providing the perspective of their industries.
  • Four trade unions.
  • Three Non-Departmental Public Bodies.
  • Three environmental membership or campaign organisations.
  • Two academic or research institutions.
  • Two local authorities.

Approach to analysis and reporting

This report presents the range of views expressed and trends amongst responses. The analyst team applied a qualitative coding framework based on a review of the consultation questions and sample of responses.

There was significant repetition of views within and across responses to the 24 questions. To improve readability and avoid duplication, the report is structured around themes, aligning questions or common themes in comments.

While qualitative analysis of open-ended questions does not permit the quantification of results, we signify the weight of a particular view using the following framework. Where there are several themes, we have indicated which are the most common or prevalent across responses:

  • 'The most common theme' or 'the most prevalent response'.
  • 'Several' or 'many' respondents – a recurring theme, but not the most common
  • 'Some' respondents – another theme
  • 'A few' or 'a small number' of respondents – a minor theme

Comments made by one or two respondents which do not correspond to the themes presented in the report are appended for reference.

Of the 48 consultation responses, 30 were submitted via the Scottish Government's online consultation platform, Citizen Space. The remaining eighteen responses were provided in an alternative format, for example, a PDF document. Just over half (eight of the eighteen) alternative format responses contained information which did not align to specific questions. The analysts exercised judgement about the most relevant place to include this material for analysis purposes.

Respondents' responses to the consultation, where permission for publication was granted, can be found on the Scottish Government's website.

Report Structure

The Lines Between was commissioned to provide an independent and robust analysis of the responses to the consultation. This report is set out as follows:

  • This section closes with a quantitative summary of the closed questions contained in the consultation. A full quantitative summary is appended.
  • Chapter 1 presents analysis of responses to questions 1-3, around the current position of offshore wind in Scotland.
  • Chapter 2 covers questions 4-9, which focus on barriers to deployment.
  • Chapter 3 addresses questions 10-12, which consider the future of offshore wind
  • Chapter 4 presents analysis of responses to questions 13-16, and the economic opportunities for the supply chain.
  • Chapter 5 discusses responses to questions 17-19, which focus on the economic opportunities present in the skills-force.
  • Chapter 6 presents analysis of responses to questions 20-24 about innovation and cost reduction.
  • Conclusions are set out in Chapter 7.

Quantitative summary of closed questions

The table below present the results of the closed questions included in the consultation. Please see Appendix 1 for a full quantitative summary of the number of responses to all questions.

Question Sample size Number of respondents giving each answer % among total respondents % among those answering
Total Total answering Yes No Not answered Yes No Not answered Yes No
Q1: Does the current pipeline and level of activity in the offshore wind sector in Scotland provide a sufficient platform upon which to build the greater contribution required to achieve our climate change goals? 48 29 10 19 19 21 40 40 34 66
Q2: Do you believe that the 2030 visions and aspirations described above are sufficiently ambitious? 48 27 10 17 21 21 35 44 37 63



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