Islay Energy Trust (IET), Natural Power Consultants (Natural Power) have produced a guide to assist coastal communities in the development of wave and tidal projects around Scotland. It has been fundied from Scottish Government Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES).
The Scottish Government is committed to the development of community renewable projects. They have clearly stated that they wish to maximise the benefits from renewable energy for communities, both in direct energy and financial benefits as well as local regeneration and skills development. There are a range of potential benefits for communities involved with the development of wave and tidal developments.
These include revenue streams, economic development and development of local businesses, infrastructure, skills and job creation, community cohesion and development precedent. However, a central difference between community marine energy projects and conventional commercial developments is the opportunity to secure socio-economic as well as financial benefits in the eventual operation of any project.
While using this guide, it is important to understand that the wave and tidal industry is an embryonic industry with high costs and higher risks in comparison with more conventional types of renewable energy. While this report is applicable to wave and tidal developments the content as with regards to community development is biased towards tidal projects.
The guide provides advice and recommendations on the process of developing a project from concept, through a feasibility study, and successfully gaining the leases, licences and consents required. It offers detailed guidance on the topics to consider at feasibility stage and signposts to publically available information. An overview of the consenting and licensing process is given, as well as advice on resource assessment, device selection criteria, finance and funding. A section dedicated to ports, vessels, supply chain and socioeconomics has been supplied by SeaRoc Ltd.
It is hoped that this guide equips and informs coastal communities who are considering the development of, or investment in, a wave or tidal project. While not covering in detail every aspect of a community development, the guide aims to provide an overview of topics to consider, investigate and discuss, and a reference section is provided to direct towards other publically available information sources.