National Marine Plan
The National Marine Plan (NMP) has been in gestation since 2010.
The NMP covers:- Sea Fisheries/Aquaculture / Wild Salmon and Diadromous Fish / Oil and Gas /Carbon Capture and Storage / Offshore Wind and Marine Renewable Energy/Recreation and Tourism/Shipping, Ports, Harbours and Ferries/Submarine Cables/Defence/ Aggregates
NTA contribution to any input to the NMP was restricted to NTA’s constitution i.e. any possible offshore renewables development within 35km of Tiree’s shoreline
Re Renewables;- in Sept 2012 Marine Scotland proposed, to the consultation, that most of offshore Scotland could be zoned for possible future wind,wave, and tidal developments!
These were subsequently rationalised, to be represented in Map 9 (above), published in the draft NMP in Dec 2014 , and subsequently without alteration, in the Adopted NMP laid before Parliament on 27th March 2015
Ch11 of the dNMP presented the Tiree implications;- zoning of two sites, one for a possible Wave Farm development(WW3), and the other for a possible offshore wind farm(OWW2).
The credibility of Tiree specifics of Ch11 of the NMP may be questioned.The NMP still shows the Tiree Saltire Prize site. (See Map 9 below). But no Developer applied for the Tiree site, and the d/line to apply passed on 15 Jan 2015.
NTA speculates that by not updating the Tiree Saltire Prize site, the NMP, as published, may require modification and correction.
Not withstanding an EU aim for NMP’s, there is no time frame to deliver a NMP . To Scottish G’s credit it is ahead of the game, as no other comparable NMP has emerged from any other EU member state .
With regard to Renewables, the credibility of the NMP has to be further questioned. In 4Q2014 Scottish Government, de facto, dropped WAVE. Pelamis (red) went into into administration, and Aquamarine (yellow) ) contracted its operations.
Pelamis collapsed owing more than £15 million, including almost £13m to Scottish Enterprise(SE), which also had similar financial exposure to Aquamarine .
Aquamarine subsequently went into administration, and ceased trading in 4Q2015.
According to a 4Q2016 audit ,the combined accrued loss to Govt ie taxpayers on both ventures , exceeded £40mill
SG has put a brave face on any continuum of a commitment to WAVE by establishing, in Feb 2015, essentially a R&D quango,’Wave Energy Scotland‘ (WES), co-incidentally manned by mainly ex Pelamis employees .
SG’s funding of WES is with the stated aim to seek “ …..at least one wave technology to reach the point where it is commercially viable(anticipated time frame 2020-2025), as UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (EIT) simultaneously produced its report ‘WAVE ENERGY INSIGHTS’ which stated that wave was ‘...unlikely to make any significant contribution to the UK energy system in the coming decades’
Since publication of the dNMP in Dec 2014 , NTA has lobbied Scottish Govt-Marine Scotland to drop zoning WW3.
National Marine Plan – Planning,divorced from technical,environmental ,and commercial reality,lacks credibility.
Environmental considerations were ‘stand- alone reasons ‘to drop zoning WW3
The SEA (Strategic Environment Assessment ) with regard to WW3 was flawed. The SEA totally ignored any reference to the environmental data that contributed to SPR-Iberdrola dropping the Tiree Array.
SG and MS have rejected NTA’s lobbying to drop zoning WW3/OWW2.
RE zoning OWW2 for possible windfarm development;- it was self evident, from SPR-Iberdrola’s reasons in dropping the Tiree Array, that a quantum leap in foundation, and turbine technology, will be required to give any credibility to any possible development of OWW2
Other than ‘still to be tested floating turbines‘, there is no evidence of this required quantum leap. Of more immediate significance is the current slow trajectory of offshore wind development, with no investment decision, as yet ,for any of the current Scottish offshore wind projects. The distraction of cheaper, and less technically challenging Scottish-UK- European sites, suggests the possible development of OWW2 may remain an intangible concept…for a long..long.. time.
Map 9 ( below) shows the Plan Options for marine renewables Adopted in the NMP . It shows ALL potential Scottish Offshore Renewable Development Zones .
Note: The STW sites were adopted in Mar 2011( when the Tiree Array was adopted). The Developers of all consented STW sites have yet to make their investment decision. 4 sites are subject to judicial review. Only 2 hold CfD subsidy support ( a pre- requisite for any investment decision) . None of these sites will be ‘spinning‘ before 2018, ie more than 4 yrs later than anticipated by SG following Mar 2011 Adoption.
National Marine Plan – NTA’s conclusion is that any possible development in the Tiree development zones in the NMP will not occur in the foreseeable future.
Tiree will always be on the ‘extreme edge ‘ of applied offshore renewables technology.
SPR-Iberdrola, following dropping of the Tiree Array, demonstrated, by continuing to develop their other English, French and Baltic offshore wind-farm sites, that there are cheaper, more accessible, developments sites outside Scotland. The developers of the current 4 Scottish consented sites all have extensive international development site portfolios. This suggests a raft of European offshore renewable development sites may be more attractive to Developers, long before any Tiree site will register on a Developer’s radar.
SPR-Iberdrola’s current international offshore renewables development programme confirms NTA’s conclusion .
It would appear that SG-MS has learnt nothing from SPR-Iberdrola dropping the Tiree Array.
National Marine Plan – Any response,when,and if required,will come from a NTA MK 2!
The document below is a compilation of most of the NTA-SG-MS correspondence, from Dec 2014, regarding the NMP:-
• NTA’s e-mail(10 Dec 2014) to Fergus Ewing(Minister of Energy) 2 days prior publication of the draft NMP
• NTA’s (5Jan) ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE SUBMISSION
• NTA’s further submission of ADDITIONAL MATTERS for CONSIDERATION
• MS’ reply (16 Jan) stating MS’ holistic methodology in drafting Ch11 of the NMP.
• NTA’s reply (22 Jan) challenging MS’ holistic methodology.
• MS’ reply (02 MAR) stating SPR’s dropping of the Tiree Array was SPR’s prerogative ,ergo irrelevant to zoning WW3
• NTA reply ( 04 Mar) stating MS’ position was disingenuous, also as SG’s sponsored WES reduced SG’s wave ambition to seeking commercially viable wave technology by 2025, where was the logic in zoning WW3 in 2015 ?
• NTA reply (17 Mar) on procedural issues arising from the Parliamentary debate on the NMP Judi Online
SG in adopting WW3 and OWW2, has:-
- ignored the lessons of the 2011 Adoption Process.
- ignored the technical, and environmental reasons why SPR dropped the Tiree Array
The NMP’s delivery after 5 years of ‘stop-start‘ gestation, appears , ironically, to be rushed, even forced.
To put this in perspective the progress and delivery of the NMP was monitored by the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee(RACCE).
11th Dec 2014 SG published the dNMP , asking for any evidential submission to be submitted to the RACCE by the 5th Jan 2015. SG then went on Xmas Hols to return on the 5th Jan!!
30th Jan 2015; The RACCE published its report on the dNMP stating it was “lacking in clarity” and ‘not fit for purpose”
NTA understood that Scottish Government (SG) would reflect on this RACCE report, and any other representations.
19th Feb 2015. SG speedily moved a Parl debate on the dNMP. SG’s motion made no reference to the RACCE report . It was only the subsequent acceptance of two amendments, which conceded any possibility that the anxieties of the RACCE may be considered by SG, as it moved forward to derive the NMP for Adoption .
25th March 2015. NMP Adopted. NTA cannot find any changes in the NMP which substantively reflects any of the anxieties of the RACCE report .The lack of updating the Saltire Prize sites is indicative of a rushed job