The Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy and Offshore Wind Policy Statement – published this week by Marine Scotland – sets out the most suitable locations for the future development of commercial offshore wind energy.
The Scottish Government has published the finalised version of the Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy – which sets out the sites to be offered via the ScotWind offshore wind leasing round – and a finalised Offshore Wind Policy statement, which sets out the Scottish Government’s ambitions for the future of offshore wind in Scotland.
The publication of the Sectoral Marine Plan is a key milestone for ScotWind, as it enables Crown Estate Scotland to open the leasing round to full applications from developers at some point within the next four weeks. The final plan identified 15 sites to be offered via ScotWind, following the removal of the removal of the SW1 site in the Solway Firth and NE5 site in the Moray Firth, which were included in the draft plan. However, the 15 sites now going forward via ScotWind round still have a realistic maximum development capacity of 26GW, which will be limited to up to 10GW in this first round of leasing.
Some of the headline points to note from the accompanying Policy Statement are:
- SG believe that as much as 11 GW of offshore wind capacity is possible in Scottish waters by 2030 – an increase on the 8GW target set by the Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council last year.
- SG intends to run a further ScotWind leasing round in 2022/23
- SG will conduct a review and relaunch of our support for renewable energy innovation
- SG will continue to make every effort to maximise the economic benefit from developments in Scottish waters
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