What is ‘Local’ to an offshore development?

Our Economics Director, Simon Cleary, was invited to present the findings of our recent study for Marine Scotland at the Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewables Conference. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the physical conference was postponed. Instead, we were invited to submit a virtual presentation.

In the short video below, Simon briefly describes the challange that this project was designed to tackle and the solutions that BiGGAR Economics created to address these challenges.

The study defined a series of principles to guide developers when they are considering what onshore communities are local to their project, when undertaking a socio-economic impact assessment or discussing community benefit funding. The geographic focus of these local areas should be the epicentres of impact, rather than simply the site itself. As site are developed further from the shoreline and onshore visibility becomes negligible it is important to consider what impacts a project may have and where the geographic drivers of these impacts may be. This could include:

  • the offshore site;
  • the operations or construction port
  • temporary worker accommodation;
  • onshore infrastructure, such as grid connection or warehousing; or
  • the visibility of the offshore site.

The principles that were created are applicable to any size or type of offshore development. Therefore, although the focus of the example is offshore renewables, the same principles and approach can be applied to aquaculture projects or oil and gas installations.

The full report and guidance will be published by the Scottish Government towards the end of 2020. However, if you would like to learn more about the approach and what this may mean for your development, please get in touch.

The presentation can be downloaded below:


Posted 21.04.20

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