The Scottish Government has a stated target of meeting 100% of Scottish demand for electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The Scottish Government is firmly committed to the development of a successful and sustainable offshore renewable energy industry in Scotland. Sectoral Marine Plans are being developed to ensure that Offshore Renewable Energy sources, wave, tidal and offshore wind, will make a full contribution to meeting our ambitious targets. Sectoral marine plans will be adopted into the statutory National and Regional Marine Plans. Scotland is well placed to take a global lead in the exploitation of renewable energy sources at sea. Scotland has a massive offshore renewables potential with an estimated 25% of Europe’s tidal resource, 25% of its offshore wind resource and 10% of its wave potential.
The Scottish Government recognises that offshore renewable energy represents a huge opportunity for Scotland to create new industries and to make great progress towards achieving our ambitious renewable energy targets. We also recognise that there are a range of issues which have to be addressed to allow the establishment of any new sector. To address the various issues and challenges of developing offshore renewables the Scottish Government has initiated a number of projects to provide solutions and support to partner organisations and Industry. The UK and Scottish Marine legislation has been used to deliver a Marine Planning System and introduce best practice through efficiencies in licensing and consenting processes. Scottish Ministers have started the process of implementing the streamlining of marine licensing and are taking forward secondary legislation within the Scottish Parliament. Marine Scotland has taken forward a range of initiatives to deliver on Scottish Ministers commitments on marine renewables through the development of marine planning (including national, regional and sectoral) and efficient licensing and consenting processes, as described in this report.