Read recently that Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond has welcomed a blueprint to streamline the scoping, planning and consenting of offshore wind, wave and tidal developments.
The task force recommendations include:
- Creating a national database of survey data, with information from DECC, The Crown Estate and, at the appropriate time, developers – to reduce duplication and minimise cost and time;
- Introducing common standards in data collection and assessment to ensure developers can use methodologies consistently and with confidence;
- Using mandatory multilateral consultation to engage other sea users (fisheries, shipping, recreational users, communities, etc) at the earliest opportunity, before applications;
- Increasing resources in Marine Scotland (on cost-recovery basis) to provide required environment specialists for efficient scoping and application processes; and
- Prioritising early work to identify potential sites for new test facilities, including deep water offshore wind technologies.
In a way, India can possibly learn from the above recommendations; while it is true that Scotland (and the regions around it) appear to have much higher potential for marine related renewable energy than India (for reasons that have more to do with the quality of these resources rather than the quantity), with evolving technologies, in a few years now, India’s marine resources (we have a 7500 Km coastline, so we do have a lot of marine resources) could also become potentially attractive. Perhaps the Indian government too should start looking for a similar set of recommendations/blueprint for benefitting from marine energy?