Publication - Research and analysis

Socio-economic Baseline Review Methodology and Data Gap Analysis for Offshore Renewables in Scottish Waters

Published: 10 Dec 2012
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781782561996

The Data Gap Analysis Report summarises the background to and aims of the overall appraoch to socio-economics and offshore renewable energy planning. It sets out the approach that has been adopted to identifying baseline information requirements, which ta

Contents
Socio-economic Baseline Review Methodology and Data Gap Analysis for Offshore Renewables in Scottish Waters
4. Review of Data Adequacy

4. Review of Data Adequacy

As part of the baseline review, specific data gaps were identified where the absence of suitable baseline data might significantly compromise the preparation of regional scale impact assessments for future sectoral plans for offshore wind or wave and tidal energy. The data gap analysis took into account relevant ongoing studies and impending studies which may be able to fill some of the current data gaps.

This section summarises data gaps identified through the baseline review, identifies approaches to and priorities for addressing these gaps (taking account of current planned research projects) and suggests methodologies for filling gaps identified as being of medium or high priority.

4.1 Identification of Data Gaps

During the collation of the baseline mapping and data report ( ABPmer & RPA, 2012a) a number of data gaps have been identified for the various activities. These are presented in Table 2, where no entry denotes that data are available. The data gaps have been assigned to four broad categories:

  • Spatial coverage and/or resolution of location data - this includes circumstances where the location of an activity is poorly spatially resolved, geographic coverage is poor, or where location data is not available because of data sensitivities;
  • Availability of information on levels of activity - this includes information on activity intensity and/or value (turnover, GVA, expenditure, replacement cost, avoidance cost etc)
  • Availability of information on employment; and
  • Other information requirements to inform baseline - in order to provide a baseline against which some impacts might be measured, various other types of information may be required. For example, to provide a baseline against which impacts associated with fouling of fishing gear on cables might be assessed, additional information on fouling rates would be required (for example, drawn from experiences with existing English OWF).

4.2 Existing Initiatives

Marine Scotland has already commissioned a number of specific studies to address particular gaps in socio-economic data to inform future marine planning and the development of sectoral plans. These include:

  • Collation of detailed baseline information on inshore fisheries around Scotland; and
  • Studies to collect more detailed information on shipping movements within the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters and Aberdeen, Clyde, Dundee and Forth port areas.

The fishing study will help to fill current gaps in understanding of the distribution of fishing activity by <15m fleet and thus help to provide a more spatially resolved baseline. The shipping studies will help to provide better information on vessel movements within and through the relevant areas. The Pentland Firth will also provide new data on the movements of recreational vessels. The studies may be rolled out further across Scotland in the future.

4.3 Actions to Address Data Gaps and Prioritisation

Having established that there are gaps in knowledge that would reduce the ability to provide robust impact assessments, a number of actions have been identified as possible ways in which to fill these gaps. These actions and their suggested prioritisation are presented in Table 3. In developing the suggested prioritisation, we have had regard to:

  • The relative significance of the potential interaction and thus the potential scale of any impact, based on available evidence and the judgement of the study team; and
  • The extent to which other information might provide a useful proxy indicator (suitability of proxy information).

The prioritisation has been graded as follows:

  • Low : A significant interaction is unlikely to occur based on existing experiences (taking account of likely mitigation measures);
    Alternative information sources could be used to inform the baseline and/or
    Information is currently being collected elsewhere.
  • Medium: A significant interaction may occur based on existing experiences.
  • High: A significant interaction is likely to occur and/or affecting a large number of users based on existing experiences.

Table 4 shows the data gaps which are considered to of medium or high priority.

Employment figures directly related to most activities have been difficult to obtain and therefore quantify. In addition, for all activities there is also a level of uncertainty about future levels of activity, which can be dependent on factors such as wider economic performance, levels of demand, climate change and government policy. While little can be done to improve levels of confidence, it may be worthwhile seeking to generate a common set of central projections or scenarios that might be used to provide a measure of consistency in future impact assessments.

Table 2. Data gaps identified during the production of the baseline information

Activity

Data Gap

Spatial Coverage and Resolution

Levels of Activity or Value

Levels of Employment

Additional Factors

Aquaculture

 

Production and turnover values for individual farms are commercially sensitive. The only information in the public domain tends to be national turnover and value data.

 

 

Aviation

Information on aircraft routes is considered sensitive and hence not generally available. No GIS layer of helicopter routes is available, but it will be possible to create these from co-ordinate data

 

As of November 2011 no central source of employment figures for the 'minor' airports in Scotland had been identified.

 

Carbon Capture and Storage

Future locations can be linked to redundant oil and gas fields, although precise locations for CCS are currently unknown.

There is no agreed methodology for estimating the economic value of sea areas for future CO 2 storage.

No information is available on employment.

 

Coast Protection and Flood Defence

 

Information is available on the capital costs of some flood and coast defence schemes. There is no central source of information on maintenance expenditure. While methodologies exist for estimating benefits associated with flood and coastal defence schemes, there is no central source of information relating to Scottish assets as a whole.

No information is available on employment.

 

Commercial Fisheries

The location of fishing activity cannot be fully resolved. Vessel monitoring system ( VMS) data only covers fishing vessels 15m and over in length, since only these vessels are required to have onboard vessel monitoring systems.

Overflight (surveillance sightings) data is biased as some ICES rectangles have more over flights than others. Overflights are only carried out in daylight hours approximately once a week.

Routes to and from fishing grounds are not well documented

Landings data is based on all landings caught in s into the UK or by UK vessels landing abroad. It does not include fish caught by foreign vessels and landed abroad.

The offshore/inshore split shown in the landings data is an estimate which may understate the inshore component and, equivalently, over-state the offshore component. The landings data cannot readily be resolved below the level of ICES rectangles owing to the lack of good information on the location of fishing activity by the <15m fleet. The scale at which landings data is reported ( ICES rectangles) often does not match the boundaries

 

Information on fuel costs for a range of different vessel types and sizes.

Information on the frequency of fouling events ( e.g. no of fouling events per thousand hours fishing for different gear types in areas with cables). Information on spatial and temporal extent of other pressures affecting landing values.

Energy Generation

The future location of renewables supply chain activities has yet to be established

The pace and scale of development of renewables supply chains has yet to be established

No information is available on employment.

 

Military Interests

Location of activities within exercise areas poorly resolved due to national security requirements.

Information on expenditure is not broken down below UK level and as there is no measurable output from this activity it is not possible to calculate GVA. Owing to the confidential nature of military defence activities it is difficult to assess the extent and frequency of activity in the marine environment.

 

 

Oil and Gas

 

It is not currently possible to assign gas production revenues to individual fields owing to the way the data is collected.

No information is available on direct employment.

There is no central source of information on the frequency of pipeline maintenance and inspection or related expenditure.

Oil and Gas Continued

 

There is currently no agreed methodology for determining the economic value of pipelines associated with oil and gas from the overall economic value of the sector as a whole. The simplest method would be to use replacement cost.

 

There is no publicly available information on routes used by vessels to and from installations owing to restrictions on AIS data.

Ports and Harbours

 

While information on port throughput is available, turnover and GVA figures are only available at UK level.

No central source of data on individual ports; some local data available.

No central source for projected port development, available on a port by port basis to varying degrees of detail.

Power Interconnectors

 

There is currently no agreed methodology for determining the economic value of power interconnectors from the overall economic value of the sector as a whole. The simplest method would be to use replacement cost.

There is no reliable source of information on employment - the SIC classification does not breakdown employment figure to subsea power cable level.

There is no central source of information on the frequency of cable maintenance and inspection or related expenditure. There is no publicly available information on routes used by vessels to and from cables owing to restrictions on AIS data.

Recreational Boating

The published information on cruising and sailing routes is indicative and there is a lack of reliable data on the actual routes taken by recreational vessels on a regional basis. There is also a lack of information on vessel numbers passing along particular routes.( N.B. these data may be available at local scale)

Information on the economic value of recreational boating is only available at a regional scale i.e. Sailing Tourism Region which, do not align with the regions therefore there is overlap and double counting in some areas.

There is a lack of regional employment data.

No central source of information on locations of potential recreational boating investment.

Shipping

While the MCA collects national AIS data, this is currently not publicly available. Some ports collect AIS data for their own purposes which may be available on request.

Economic value data only available at level of UK

SIC classification employee figures are not specific to this activity

 

Social and Community

 

While there are central statistics available for many social trends, they generally cannot be readily monetised.

 

 

Telecom Cables

 

There is currently no agreed methodology for determining the economic value of telecoms cables from the overall economic value of the sector as a whole. The simplest method would be to use replacement cost.

There is a lack of information on employment associated with marine telecom cables.

There is no central source of information on the frequency of cable maintenance and inspection or related expenditure. There is no publicly available information on routes used by vessels to and from cables owing to restrictions on AIS data.

Tourism

The scale at which tourism activity is reported does not align well with the regions. In particular, it doesn't distinguish between coastal dependent tourism and wider tourism.

The information available does not enable values to be assigned specifically to coastal activities

There is a lack of information on employment associated with coastal-tourism

 

Waste Disposal

 

Data on the amounts disposed at individual disposal sites is available. However, no information is available on turnover or GVA associated with this activity.

No SIC data available to assess numbers employed in this activity, although numbers will be low.

 

Water Sports

Spatial data coverage and resolution are reasonable, given the informal nature of these activities.

National data is available for recreational fishing but information for other activities is poor, particularly at regional level

Limited regional data is available for recreational fishing with very little information available for other activities

 

Table 3. Actions to address data gaps and prioritisation

Activity

Suggested Actions to Address Data Gaps

Prioritisation *

Justification

Low

Medium

High

Aquaculture

Production and turnover data - spatially resolved information on production or turnover is not available for reasons of commercial sensitivity. This limitation needs to be accepted.

 

 

Significant interaction unlikely to occur as aquaculture locations tend not to be suitable for offshore renewables deployment. Spatial data on the location of aquaculture installations can be used to identify the potential for interaction.

Aviation

Aircraft routes - detailed information could be sought from CAA and NATS on aircraft approach routes, subject to any confidentiality restrictions.

 

 

Significant interaction unlikely to occur because of potential economic impacts. In the absence of detailed information on aircraft routes, proximity to airports can provide an indication of the potential for interaction.

Helicopter routes - information on the co-ordinates of helicopter routes has been sourced from NATS and could be used to create a GIS layer for the main routes.

 

 

There is potential for interaction when helicopters need to reduce altitude in adverse weather

Employment - collation of information from individual airports

 

 

It is very unlikely that a offshore energy development would be accepted within a plan, if it compromised operation of an existing airport

Carbon Capture and Storage

Spatial location - approach DECC and CCSA for any updated information on proposed storage locations or pipeline routes

 

 

Large offshore renewables developments could compromise storage locations and pipeline routes

Economic value - work could be undertaken to develop a methodology for valuing CCS areas,

 

 

The current value of traded carbon could be used as a simple measure of value if required.

Employment - could be estimated using indicative revenue and suitable multiplier ( e.g. cf oil & gas industry)

 

 

Could be estimated using indicative value and suitable employment multiplier

Coast Protection and Flood Defence

Economic value - it would be possible to estimate economic values for flood defence and coast protection schemes using information on scheme benefits. It would also be possible to collate information on maintenance expenditure from the various asset owners.

 

 

Developments which significantly affect flood defence and coast protection schemes are unlikely to be approved.

Employment - it may be possible to obtain information on employment from those organisations responsible for constructing and maintaining assets.

 

 

Developments which significantly affect flood defence and coast protection schemes are unlikely to be approved.

Commercial Fisheries

Location of activity - Marine Scotland is taking forward work to better characterise the spatial distribution of fishing effort by <15m vessels;

 

 

Information is currently being collected by Marine Scotland

Spatial resolution of value data - the above study will also assist in improving the spatial resolution of landings data;

 

 

Information is currently being collected by Marine Scotland

Routes to and from fishing grounds - interrogation of AIS and radar data, consultation with fishermen

 

 

Offshore renewables have the potential to disrupt existing routes to fishing grounds

Fuel costs - information should be readily available from the industry on fuel costs for a range of different vessel types and sizes;

 

 

Offshore renewables have the potential to disrupt existing routes to fishing grounds

Frequency of fouling events - information should be available from the offshore wind industry and fishing industry on the number and nature of fouling incidents in relation to OWF in English waters

 

 

Offshore renewables structures have the potential to foul fishing gears

Cumulative effects - some information is likely to be available from various sources on the nature and severity of other future pressures on commercial fisheries ( CFP reforms, fisheries closures, marine protected areas etc).

 

 

A range of other factors have the potential to contribute to cumulative effects on commercial fishing interests

Energy Generation

Location of supply chains for offshore renewables to service projects identified in existing plans - some information on potential supply chain development locations is included in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan. Additional consultation could be carried out with developers to seek to identify their intentions

 

 

The development of the offshore renewables supply chain to service projects identified in existing plans is likely to be significant.

Economic value of supply chains for offshore renewables to service projects identified in existing plans - additional consultation could be carried out with developers to seek to identify their investment intentions

 

 

The development of the offshore renewables supply chain to service projects identified in existing plans is likely to be significant.

Employment - little is known of the likely employment need due to the infancy of the industry. This will become more apparent with time.

 

 

This could be inferred from investment intentions using appropriate employment multipliers

Military Interests

Location of activities - could approach MOD to seek to obtain any further information on usage of PEXAs, subject to confidentiality restrictions

 

 

Developments which significantly affect MOD's interests are unlikely to be approved.

Value of activity - it may be possible to obtain additional information from MOD on the relative scale of activity within different exercise areas as a basis for crudely assigning relative value, but this is considered to be a low priority owing to the lack of spatial resolution highlighted above.

 

 

Developments which significantly affect MOD's interests are unlikely to be approved.

Oil and Gas

Spatial apportionment of gas revenues - it is not possible to allocate gas revenues to gas fields owing to the way in which data is collected. It may be worthwhile discussing with DECC whether it would be possible for them to collect and/or make available such information from operators of gas fields.

 

 

Developments which significantly affect gas production are unlikely to be approved.

Value of pipelines - there is no agreed methodology for separately valuing pipelines from other upstream activity. The simplest approach would be to use replacement cost, based on pipeline length and current average construction and installation costs per km.

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with oil & gas cables and pipelines

Frequency of maintenance and inspection and expenditure - there is no central source for this information. It may be possible to collect this information from the industry.

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with oil & gas cables and pipelines

Maintenance/inspection vessel routeing - there is no public source of this information. The information could be extracted from AIS data should this become available. Otherwise it may be possible to obtain indicative information from the industry

 

 

Offshore renewables installations may have the potential to disrupt navigation routes to offshore installations

Ports and Harbours

Future port development - could be collected through survey of Scottish ports.

 

 

Offshore renewables may affect navigation routes or port approaches, reducing attractiveness to potential customers; offshore renewables also creates opportunity for port development

Economic value - this is not resolved below the level of Scotland. Specific work would be required to develop information at regional level. The available information on port throughput provides a suitable proxy indicator for the potential significance of any interaction.

 

 

The available information on port throughput provides a suitable proxy indicator for the potential significance of any interaction.

Employment data - there is no central source of employment data at or below regional level.

 

 

The information on port throughput provides a suitable proxy indicator for the potential significance of any interaction.

Power Interconnectors

Economic value - there is no agreed methodology for separately valuing cables from the associated generating activity. The simplest approach would be to use replacement cost, based on cable length and current average construction and installation costs per km;

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with offshore power cables

Employment - information could be sought from individual cable owners/operators

 

 

Offshore renewables unlikely to give rise to significant impacts on offshore interconnector employment

Frequency of maintenance and inspection and expenditure - there is no central source for this information. It may be possible to collect this information from the industry.

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with offshore power cables

Maintenance/inspection vessel routeing - there is no public source of this information. The information could be extracted from AIS data should this become available. Otherwise it may be possible to obtain indicative information from the industry

 

 

Offshore renewables installations may have the potential to disrupt navigation routes to offshore cables

Recreational Boating

Spatial data - Specific surveys of routes (and activity levels) would be required to provide a more robust baseline;

 

 

Offshore renewables will interact with recreational boating interests

Economic value - current regional breakdowns do not align with SORERs. It may be possible to re-work the previous analysis if raw data are available.

 

 

Existing information may be sufficient

Employment - a regional breakdown is not available. Employment could be inferred from economic value using suitable multipliers

 

 

Can be estimated using existing economic value information and suitable multipliers

Shipping

Spatial data - MCA AIS data is not currently available for many areas. Some ports and harbours collect data and it may be possible to obtain this information. Ideally, agreement should be reached concerning suitable access to UK data and local sources used as fill in where necessary. The ongoing Marine Scotland shipping studies will improve available information for these areas but others areas will remain poorly described.

 

 

Offshore renewables will interact with navigation routes

Economic value - no breakdown is available below the level of Scotland. If AIS data is made available, this could be used to indicate the potential intensity of interaction

 

 

Developments which significantly affect key navigation routes are unlikely to be approved.

Employment - no breakdown is available below the level of UK. If AIS data is made available, this could be used to indicate the potential intensity of any interaction

 

 

Developments which significantly affect key navigation routes are unlikely to be approved.

Social and Community

Economic value of social factors - information could be collected through valuation surveys

 

 

Offshore renewables may give rise to social and community impacts.

Telecom Cables

Economic value - there is no agreed methodology for separately valuing cables from the associated generating activity. The simplest approach would be to use replacement cost, based on cable length and current average construction and installation costs per km;

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with telecom cables

Employment - there is no reliable source of information on employment. Information on maintenance and inspection expenditure may provide an indication of long-term employment (see below);

 

 

Offshore renewables unlikely to give rise to significant impacts on telecom cables employment

Frequency of maintenance and inspection and expenditure - there is no central source for this information. It may be possible to collect this information from the industry.

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with telecom cables

Maintenance/inspection vessel routeing - there is no public source of this information. The information could be extracted from AIS data should this become available. Otherwise it may be possible to obtain indicative information from the industry

 

 

Offshore renewables installations may have the potential to disrupt navigation routes to offshore cables

Tourism

Spatial scale of economic data - the scale at which tourism activity is reported does not align well with the regions. It may be possible to reanalyse the information to SORER boundaries. More importantly, the reporting regions do not distinguish coastal-related tourism. It is likely that specific research would be required at a number of locations around Scotland to identify the proportion of coastal-related tourism.

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with tourism interests

Employment - as above

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with tourism interests

Waste Disposal

Economic value - no information on the economic value of disposal is available.

 

 

It is unlikely that an offshore renewables development would be allowed if it had a significant impact on a disposal site. Information on the volumes of material disposed provide a proxy that can indicate the potential scale of any interaction

Employment - no information is available on levels of employment associated with waste disposal, although the numbers are likely to be very low.

 

 

It is unlikely that an offshore renewables development would have a significant impact on employment associated with waste disposal as the activity would need to continue. Information on the volumes of material disposed provide a proxy that can indicate the potential scale of any interaction

Water Sports

Spatial data - spatial data on key locations is available for most activities, but information on levels of activity is relatively poor. Information could be collected through on-line questionnaire available through user associations and other relevant information points.

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with water sports

Economic value - national data is available for some activities, but regional data is more limited. Data could be collected on expenditure as part of a wider questionnaire to users. The lack of trade associations and the dispersed and fragmented nature of the supply chain are likely to make it difficult to obtain information from the industries themselves.

 

 

Offshore renewables may interact with water sports

Employment - there is limited data available, particularly at a regional scale. Specific research would be required to identify relevant employment statistics.

 

 

Employment can be inferred from economic value using appropriate employment multipliers

* See Section 4.3 for definition of High, Medium and Low

Table 4. Medium and high priority gaps

Priority

Activity

Key Gaps

High

Energy Generation

Location and economic value of supply chains to service offshore renewables projects in existing plans

Recreational Boating

Spatial data on cruising and sailing routes and intensity of use

Shipping

Spatial data on shipping routes and intensity of use (for areas not covered by existing Marine Scotland projects)

Medium

Aviation

Helicopter routes

Carbon Capture and Storage

Location of storage areas and pipeline routes

Commercial Fisheries

Routes to and from fishing grounds, fuel costs, fouling rates for fishing gear, cumulative pressures (existing fishery closures, MPAs, CFP reforms)

Oil and Gas

Economic value of pipelines, frequency of inspection and maintenance of pipelines and expenditure; routeing of maintenance vessels

Ports and Harbours

Future investment plans

Power Interconnectors

Economic value, frequency of inspection and maintenance of pipelines and expenditure; routeing of maintenance vessels

Social and Community

Economic value of social factors

Telecom Cables

Economic value, frequency of inspection and maintenance of cables and expenditure; routeing of maintenance vessels

Tourism

Economic value and employment associated with coastal tourism;

Water Sports

Spatial location of water sports activities and economic value


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