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
5. Recommendations to Fill Data Gaps

5. Recommendations to Fill Data Gaps

5.1 Suggested Methodologies for Priority Actions

This section describes possible methodologies and approaches for taking forward medium and high priority actions.

5.1.1 Aviation

Information providing the co-ordinates of the main helicopter routes is available from NATS and could be used to develop a GIS layer of relevant routes.

5.1.2 Carbon Capture and Storage

There is currently a high level of uncertainty about the future location and scale of carbon capture and storage activity in UK seas, in particular commercial viability is still to be demonstrated. While there are a large number of potential storage sites in Scottish seas, preferred sites have not been confirmed, nor the associated pipeline routes. DECC and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association could be approached in order to obtain any updated information.

5.1.3 Commercial Fisheries

It is likely to be difficult to obtain good information on fishing vessel routes to and from fishing grounds. Some information will be available from existing AIS and radar data. Additional information could be obtained through consultation with individual fishermen, but it is likely to be difficult to obtain a comprehensive picture of routes and their intensity of use.

Information on fuel costs for different vessel types and sizes could be collected relatively easily through consultation with the Scottish Fishermen's Federation. For example, it would be helpful to have information on fuel costs (during normal steaming) for a vessel representative of the inshore fleet (say 9m vessel) and the offshore fleet (say 18m vessel), although this information might be better collected at the impact assessment stage.

Some information on the frequency of gear fouling on offshore energy cables is obtainable from R1 and R2 English OWF developers. However, there may not be sufficient information to standardise for fishing intensity, fishing methods and cable length. Comparable information may be available from the oil and gas industry.

Information to inform an assessment of the cumulative effects of displacement on commercial fisheries could be obtained as follows:

  • Existing fisheries closures (Marine Scotland);
  • Potential displacement from Scottish MPAs (Marine Scotland, once decisions have been taken on location and management measures); and
  • Common Fisheries Policy Reform (Marine Scotland, once 2012 reforms have been agreed and implications understood).

5.1.4 Energy Generation

Consultation could be undertaken with existing offshore renewables developers to seek to identify their investment intentions (location and expenditure), although a significant level of uncertainty is likely to remain, pending, for example, the relevant port infrastructure developments obtaining the necessary consents. .

5.1.5 Oil and Gas

An indicative economic value for oil and gas pipelines could be calculated based on the length of pipeline and the current replacement cost. This would provide a simple low value estimate.

Some information on the frequency of maintenance and inspection, vessel routeing and associated expenditure could be obtained through consultation with the oil and gas industry. Initial discussions with Oil and Gas UK have indicated that it is unlikely that comprehensive information will be obtainable, but it should be possible to acquire indicative information that could be used to estimate a baseline for Scottish waters.

5.1.6 Ports and Harbours

Information on future development intentions of individual ports could be obtained through consultation. However, there will be a significant level of uncertainty as progress for individual developments will be largely dependent on investment decisions.

5.1.7 Power Interconnectors

An indicative economic value for power interconnectors could be calculated based on the length of cable and the current replacement cost. This would provide a simple low value estimate.

Information on the frequency of maintenance and inspection, vessel routeing and associated expenditure could be obtained through consultation with the grid companies and offshore wind farm developers. Initial discussions with the industry have indicated that information that has already been shared within ITOMS (International Transmission Operations & Maintenance Study) would be made available, but there may be commercial sensitivity surrounding some interconnector-specific information. It may be possible to facilitate information sharing through industry associations such as Subsea Cables UK or Renewable UK.

5.1.8 Recreational Boating

Spatial data on recreational vessel movements and activity levels could be collected using locally sited radar. However, this would be an expensive option to achieve wide-scale coverage of the Scottish coastline. It may be possible to work with RYA Scotland and marina owners to develop a voluntary initiative for recreational sailors to provide information from their log books to develop suitable mapped outputs which indicate specific routes used, the types of vessels using them, intensity of use (to include seasonality) and anchorages. Such a partnership approach could be particularly cost effective as well as usefully engaging the recreational boating community.

5.1.9 Shipping

Spatial data on vessel movements to determine the density, routing, vessel type, cargo and draught should be obtained from existing MCA AIS data as a nationally robust data set (which includes passenger vessels and shipping of >300 GT). Ideally this should cover all of Scotland's seas for a period of one year as the information would also be useful to inform wider marine planning. It is recognised that information for some areas is in the process of being collated and analysed. It would be possible expand coverage across Scottish seas on an area by area basis and to integrate the outputs. Owing to the very large data volumes associated with decoded AIS data, it is unlikely to be practicable to process data for all Scottish seas simultaneously, particularly for a period of one year.

5.1.10 Social and Community

The economic value of social impacts could be assessed using valuation studies if it was considered necessary to obtain monetised information. This might be most appropriate in relation to factors such as quality of life which are often difficult to quantify, although various indicators of quality of life are available ( e.g. Scottish statistics).

5.1.11 Telecommunication Cables

An indicative economic value for power interconnectors could be calculated based on the length of cable and the current replacement cost. This would provide a simple low value estimate.

Information on the frequency of maintenance and inspection, vessel routeing and associated expenditure could be obtained through consultation with the cable companies. It may be possible to facilitate such an exercise through Subsea Cables UK as per power interconnectors above. It is unlikely that comprehensive information will be available, but it should be possible to acquire indicative information that could be used to estimate a baseline for Scottish waters.

5.1.12 Tourism

There is a lack of reliable information on coastal tourism in Scotland. To obtain better estimates of coastal-related tourism activity, economic value and related employment, primary research is likely to be required. Such a study should take account of likely geographic differences in the relative importance of coastal tourism (for example, this may be a primary reason for tourist footfall to Scottish islands), but incidental for tourism associated with coastal cities. It should also be targeted towards those areas with a high dependence on tourism (West coast and Scottish islands). Visit Scotland are responsible for collection of tourism statistics in Scotland. It is recommended that the detailed scope of any future study is taken forward in partnership with them as it is likely that some of the required information could be collected through extension of their existing surveys. .

5.1.13 Water Sports

There is reasonable spatial and value information for recreational fishing. There is some information on the location of other water sports activities (surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, canoeing, kayaking, and diving) but information on levels of activity and expenditure is poor. To obtain better information on the location, levels of activity and expenditure for these water sports activities, primary research would be required.

Participant based questionnaire surveys are a viable way of collecting information on location, intensity and expenditure. A location based approach might be suitable for certain areas such as well known surf beaches. However, given the remoteness of many parts of Scotland and the high daily variability in usage of an area (dependant on season, weather, weekend/week day, sea state etc) this technique could be very costly.

A more effective technique would probably involve online questionnaire surveys. This could be done through governing bodies such as Scottish Canoeing Association, Scottish Sub Aqua Club, British Surfing Association or UK Windsurfing Association. However, membership of these organisations often only represents a small fraction of participants involved in the water sport as a whole. Another approach is using charity websites such as Surfers Against Sewage. However, the most effective approach would probably be to use popular private water sports websites such as 'Magic Seaweed' (mainly surfing but also used by wind surfers and kayakers), social networking sites (such as Facebook) and magazines (both online and paper based magazines) to advertise any such online survey. Any such survey should be initiated by the relevant governing bodies.

The MEDIN guideline for the collection of marine leisure and recreational data ( ABPmer, 2011) provides a useful template for the focus of data collection, although it will also be important to collect information on expenditure.

A separate survey on the supply chains for individual water sports to estimate their economic value and associated employment is considered unlikely to be effective in generating meaningful data. There are no specific trade associations for water sports activities and the supply base is highly fragmented. For example, while some surf and outdoor shops sell specialist water sports equipment and products, other shops sell more 'lifestyle' fashion such as clothes to people even if they do not necessarily participate in the water sports, ('diluting' any value estimate).

5.1.14 Cross-cutting Action

Future activity levels are necessarily uncertain. However, it may be useful to develop central assumptions to be applied when estimating future activity levels and values to seek to ensure consistency of approach between different impact assessments. These assumptions could be on the basis of central projections for future activities or else based around different scenarios, for example, based on the UK Foresight programme scenarios.


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