Marine Renewables


We work with our colleagues in Hamble and with the relevant statutory authorities and stakeholders in Scotland including Marine Scotland and the Northern Lighthouse Board as well as with developers and their consultants. To limit adverse impacts of marine renewable developments on navigational safety of recreational boating around the coast whilst being alert to any possible benefits that might accrue. Marine Scotland sends us licence applications for marine renewables and we respond to all of them, drawing on the specific local knowledge of our network of coastwatchers. In fact, by the time a licence application is submitted we may have already been involved at several stages including the identification of key issues to be addressed (scoping), and attendance at Navigational Risk Assessment meetings.

Local meetings are often held by developers and you are encouraged to attend, as there may be local issues that RYA Scotland is unaware of. Please keep us informed of any such issues so that we can best support you. While we are well aware of all the large schemes, small wave and tidal schemes may be proposed and it is important that we are alerted as soon as possible.

To support our case, RYA has published the UK Coastal Atlas of Recreational Boating, now in its third edition and available on National Marine Plan Interactive, and the fourth edition of the position papers on wind, wave and tidal offshore renewable Energy Installations (September 2015). These are well used by Marine Scotland and by developers.

There are now three conventional windfarms operating in Scottish Waters, Robin Rigg in the Solway Firth, Beatrice in the Moray Firth and the European Offshore Wind Development Centre in Aberdeen Bay. Moray East in the Moray Firth and Neart na Gaoithe off Fife are at early stages of construction. Other schemes are being planned. In addition Hywind off Peterhead and the Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm off Stonehaven are small floating wind arrays. People on passage up the east coast of Scotland are advised to keep a close lookout, particularly near schemes that are being constructed. In spite of requests by RYA Scotland there is no single site where all the Notices to Mariners can be found.

RYA Scotland responded to the consultation on the Sectoral Plan for Offshore Wind which identified possible locations Most are outside the 12 mile limit and some are in deep water where only floating devices are possible. However, the technical difficulties of operating in such environments are severe. Clubs on the Solway are very concerned about the site south of the Mull of Galloway and their comments have been backed up by RYA Scotland. The Plan will be reviewed before final publication and some sites may be deleted or modified to take account of stakeholder comments. Once the Plan is finalised, Crown Estate Scotland will open up its leasing round based on the listed sites.

There are two tidal arrays generating to the grid, in the Pentland Firth and in Bluemull Sound in Shetland although other devices are being tested at the EMEC facilities in Orkney. There is currently very little happening in relation to wave power.’

Dr G Russell
RYA Scotland Planning and Environment Officer