A regulatory system for Marine Planning was introduced at the UK level through the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. This requires that marine plans are prepared for the UK marine area. The Scottish Government has jurisdiction over marine planning matters from 0 -12 nautical miles and has executively devolved powers (from the UK Government) for marine planning matters 12 – 200 nautical miles.
In accordance with the 2009 Act, the UK Government and the devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) have prepared a joint Marine Policy Statement which provides the framework for preparing Marine Plans and decision making in relation to the marine environment.
In Scotland, the new legislative and management framework for the marine environment is established by the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. The marine planning provisions will allow more effective management of the competing demands on marine resources.
Marine Scotland is involved with marine planning at three different levels: national, regional and international. Feeding into this process Marine Scotland has undertaken a Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind in Scottish Territorial Waters which will be integrated into and inform this emerging marine planning framework.
Strategic Environment Assessment
The Scottish Government undertook a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to find the most appropriate locations for placing wind energy devices in the sea, around the entire Scottish coast.
Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) are a key component of sustainable development in Scotland. An SEA ensures that the environment is considered throughout policy preparation, thereby reducing any negative or unforeseen policy impacts and improving the transparency of decision making.
Good Practice Wind (GP Wind)
The GP Wind project aims to identify, analyse and address the barriers to the development of onshore and offshore wind generation by developing good practice in reconciling renewable energy objectives with wider environmental objectives and actively involving communities in planning and implementation. The project has secured funding from the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI) as part of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme and works in 8 countries within the EU which are Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Greece, Italy, Norway, Belgium and Malta.
Further information about the project can be found at the following link: www.project-gpwind.eu