A Quality Management Review of Scotland’s Sectoral Marine Plan for Tidal Energy
Scottish Marine and Freshwater Science Vol 7 No 18
As coastal communities continue to increase in geographical size and population, associated marine economies will have to expand in unison. This relationship gives rise to an increase in user – user and user – environment conflicts, as users of the marine environment proliferate in size, number, and intensity. Such conflicts demand the implementation in marine spatial planning (MSP) in order to effectively manage various users and uses taking place within the marine environment. Furthermore, negative implications arising from global climate change increasingly threaten the integrity of ecosystem services within the marine environment, thereby effecting natural marine ecosystem functions and the economies of coastal communities relying upon such ecosystem services. Such a dilemma has increased political support for the adoption of commercial-scale offshore renewable energy implementation in order to assist in the global energy transition away from a carbon-based economy. These drivers have triggered Scotland to construct and implement the world’s first sectoral marine plan for tidal energy (SMPTE) in an effort to streamline the licensing and permitting processes of tidal current turbines (TCTs), subsequently facilitating the commercial-deployment of TCTs within a structured governance framework.