Sectoral Marine Plan support for Scottish offshore wind

Supporting the revised SMP for Offshore Wind Energy, and the SMP for Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas

Following the results of ScotWind and the Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing rounds, Sectoral Marine Plans (SMPs) were being revised and developed to support the industry by planning the sustainable delivery of commercial-scale offshore wind energy in Scotland.

Crown Estate Scotland selected 20 projects under ScotWind and 13 under INTOG; together they could enable over 30 GW of offshore wind energy.

With a combined capacity of around 5.5 GW, INTOG is the world’s first leasing round designed to enable offshore wind energy to directly supply offshore oil and gas platforms.

ScotWind, at a potential leased capacity of almost 28 GW, puts Scotland at the forefront of the global development of offshore wind, representing a massive step forward in the transition to net zero.

The Scottish Government has appointed marine consultancy and survey company ABPmer to support the revision of its original SMP for Offshore Wind Energy as part of its iterative plan review process, as well as the production of the SMP for INTOG.

To ensure consistency and account for developing projects and research, both Plans follow the Scottish Government’s established system of sectoral marine planning. ABPmer worked closely with the Government and key stakeholders to complete a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA), and socio-economic impact assessment (SEIA) as well as facilitating the statutory consultation process. These assessments ensure that decision-making is informed by relevant environmental and socio-economic information.

The Scottish Government has set a range of targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to generate more energy from renewable sources. The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 commits the Scottish Government to reach net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

Adoption of final Plans are anticipated in 2024 following a formal consultation process.

A recognised thought leader and specialist in marine planning, with extensive experience of strategic and sectoral planning, we are regularly called to support national planning processes across the UK, Ireland and internationally, and undertake applied research studies to support implementation.

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