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Time: 13:45 for 14:00
Location: Education Workshop, The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Architecture, Design and The City, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU (details on how to get there are at: http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/page.php?page=information&sub=in-find)
Association of Scottish Community Councils
Building Environment Forum Scotland
To be confirmed
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Royal Town Planning Institute
Scottish Environmental Link
Another (to be confirmed)
Scottish Natural Heritage
Scottish and Southern Energy
Scottish Renewables Forum
2. Minutes of last meeting
3. Concern papers
4. Ministerial statement
5. Strategic environmental assessment and review of NPPG 6
Annex A: Note of first meeting
Annex B: Executive's summary of concern papers
Annex C: EAFRE concern papers: Suggested way forward
Annex D: Scottish Executive News Release 20 June 2005: Scotland on road to meet renewables targets
Annex E: Scottish Executive News Release 22 July 2005: Future of Scottish renewable energy mapped out
Annex F: Draft specification for strategic environmental assessment
Annex G: Minutes of the 6 th meeting of FREDS held on Tuesday 24 th May 2005
ANNEX A: ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY FORUM FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
NOTE OF FIRST MEETING: 15 DECEMBER 2004
Apologies were received from John Thomson ( SNH) and Anne McCall ( SEL). They were represented by Bill Band and Clifton Bain respectively.
The Freedom of Information implications of the Forum were outlined. It was confirmed that short minutes of each meeting would be prepared highlighting the key issues agreed and that these would be published on the Scottish Executive Website within 3 months of each meeting.
It was confirmed that the Forum would focus on the land use planning and locational aspects of renewable energy. It was agreed that this should also consider consents under both Sections 36 and 37 of the Electricity Act 1989.
The review of NPPG 6 would involve initial research into the operation and effectiveness of existing policies. It was hoped to commission this research in Spring 2005 and that it would report by the end of 2005. The review of NPPG 6 would commence on completion of the research with a draft revised Scottish Planning Policy ( SPP) issued for consultation during 2006.
The Forum had the opportunity to comment on the proposed research specification. Members would also be approached directly as Stakeholders by the researchers and a presentation of the draft final report would be made to the Forum. The Forum's work would continue during the subsequent review of NPPG 6. Action: Forum members to let Ian Mitchell have any comments on the draft research specification by 4 March 2004.
The Executive is also looking at Section 36 processes. The intention is to tackle the various issues individually with the most urgent being taken forward first. It was hoped to issue a consultation paper on fees within the next few weeks.
Subsequent discussions acknowledged the need to review NPPG 6. It was generally accepted that the review process would take up to 2 years but a number of issues needed addressed sooner. Renewable energy targets were being met almost entirely by on-shore wind farms. This is causing various problems and it was felt that a wider strategic overview was needed from the Executive. The problems "on the ground" highlighted the interface between energy and planning policy and raise difficult issues for those involved in considering individual proposals, particularly in relation to number of applications in the pipeline, grid issues and the lack of a clear steer on how many on-shore wind farms are needed and how this should be provided for and what were considered the acceptable impacts on other economic activities. Such uncertainty is creating a "conflict culture" and leading to delays in the application process. This could undermine Scotland taking advantage of its renewable potential. The Executive agreed that it would be useful for members to outline their concerns in writing so that consideration could be given to what issues need addressed, and how and when this could be done. This would ensure that the Executive could address the "bigger picture" in tandem with its reviews of planning guidance and consents under the Electricity Act. Action: Forum members to let Ian Mitchell have "concern" papers by 31 January 2004.
ANNEX B: ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY FORUM FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
EXECUTIVE'S SUMMARY OF CONCERN PAPERS
1. EAFRE representatives were invited to submit 'concern papers' to the Scottish Executive on issues to be addressed by forthcoming reviews. Representations were received from:
- Highland Council
- Scottish Environment Link
- Scottish Power UK Plc
- Scottish & Southern Energy ( SSE)
- Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland ( RTPI)
The following summarises the issues raised.
Scottish Energy Policy
2. Several Forum members commented on the need for a Scottish Energy Policy and stressed the importance of renewable energy to Scotland's future economic success, and social and environmental welfare. COSLA emphasised Scotland's key role in contributing towards UK-wide renewable energy and climate change targets. Given this COSLA suggest the UK Government and the Scottish Executive must reflect this importance by creating a comprehensive sustainable energy strategy for Scotland, which integrates energy generation, conservation and efficiency.
Members of the Forum suggested that any strategy should include the following:
- new targets for energy efficiency and to reduce energy demand;
- conversion of the 2010 and 2020 renewables' targets, from % terms, into a "likely range" of installed capacities in MW;
- encouragement of a shift away from coal, oil, gas and nuclear;
- confirmation that only a proportion of the overall target be met by any individual technology;
- encouragement of local energy generation and supply;
- linkages with other policies particularly the link between biomass energy policy and forestry policy; and
- policies and plans developed with the Enterprise Network to realise the employment potential stemming from energy.
3. There is a perceived need to commission further research into new and developing technologies including geothermal imports, tidal flow, wave, offshore wind, biomass and solar, and research covering innovative transport, heating and energy saving technologies.
4. SSE advocated that the 40% target be met by a mix of technologies including marine, and suggested to achieve this changes may need to be made to the incentive regime ( ROS).
5. SNH commented that the balance between technologies should reflect not only cost and proximity to market but also the environmental effects. SNH requested that the Executive prepare a forecast representing the balance of technologies by 2020, allowing appropriate margins for each.
6. Scottish Environment LINK suggest that where it proves necessary to improve delivery, lead responsibility for particular issues could be transferred between Westminster and Holyrood. The need for a monitoring system to examine the impacts of individual developments was discussed.
7. The majority of members of the Forum called for a national Spatial Strategy to be developed, indeed SSE expressed an industry dissatisfaction that government had not already provided greater clarity on locational preference with a concern this was resulting in a free-for-all in project applications. Several organisations including SNH and SSE made reference to the different approaches of local authorities to renewables - some taking the view that large renewables developments are an intrusion, whilst others are attracted by the economic benefits and community income. SNH hold the belief that a national dialogue is needed between the Executive and all planning authorities, leading to a strategic agreement as to the generation capacity to be accommodated within each area. SEPA felt that any debate on location would result in a stronger focus on planning and environmental issues.
8. COSLA and Scottish Environment LINK feel that the National Planning Framework should address the spatial implications of the energy strategy. The RTPI presented four options for Spatial Policy including:
- preferred areas of search at a national level to be set out and included in NPF2;
- preferred areas of search at a national level to be set out in an interim policy statement, similar to Wales;
- an allocation of generating capacity to meet the 2010 target by individual local authority areas; or
- an instruction to authorities to submit alterations to Structure Plans forthwith to reflect the requirement for 'broad areas of search' as required by para 49 of NPPG 6, failing which national definition for search areas would be undertaken, as in Wales.
9. It was advised that SNH's locational research work could be used as a foundation for the spatial strategy. Acknowledgement is given that most of the major sensitivities (natural, heritage, defence, radar, airport safety) are already well mapped at least for onshore wind. There are a number of renewables capacity assessments in some parts of Scotland and Highland Council are already embarking on the production of a strategy. SNH proposed taking a broad strategic approach at the outset and recommended identifying expected capacities by dividing Scotland into 5 or 6 regions. The Forum was highlighted as a means to develop the spatial perspective.
10. Scottish Environment LINK expressed the view that the Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA) Regulations and forthcoming Bill should be applied to energy policy. They support the development of combined oil & gas and offshore renewables SEA provided the strategic areas chosen are based on the ecosystem approach. They comment there should be additional protection of wild land and seascape and emphasise the Scottish Executive's legal obligation under the EU Habitats directive to protect peatland habitats.
11. Concerns were raised that cumulative effect will be a key factor in localised "hot spot" areas. SNH advocated that planning authorities should be encouraged to consider cumulative impacts and capacity, and to define the scale and extent of potential windfarm development in their area. VisitScotland similarly commented that the development of onshore wind farms could have adverse cumulative effects.
12. There were calls for Executive guidance to assist councils assess the cumulative impact of onshore wind farms, two options for the shape of this guidance were presented. COSLA called for interim guidance due to local authorities' concerns over the two-year timescale for the review of NPPG 6, whilst Highland Council proposed a new Annex to Planning Advice Note ( PAN) 45.
Section 36 Consents
13. The RTPI voiced a lack of clarity on the criteria used by Ministers to determine section 36 applications, due to differing responsibilities for policy and decision making. There was a resultant demand for a paper on the legal situation.
14. COSLA's view is that all renewable energy planning decisions should be taken locally, which should lead to the eventual abolishing of section 36 and 37 planning consent. COSLA feel that local decision-making would help reduce opposition to renewable energy developments, by increasing democratic accountability and community involvement.
15. Scottish Environment LINK advised the Executive to carry out consultation on the needs and implications of an upgrade of the electricity grid.
16. Scottish Environment LINK endorsed the development of a comprehensive approach to the consideration of developments and grid connections to evaluate the total impacts of proposals, as opposed to separate considerations. SEA could be utilised to establish a robust and transparent approach to transmission and distribution.
17. Highland Council made an urgent plea for a new Scottish Planning Policy ( SPP) on "Power Lines". It was suggested that this SPP cover the issue of possible undergrounding of high voltage power lines and give guidance regarding the handling of health concerns from overhead power lines. Whilst SNH agreed that the case for upgrading the capacity of the Beauly-Denny line is strong, given the numerous options for renewable energy in north Scotland which might be serviced by such a line, they highlight a variety of options are under discussion including submarine cables to service further developments in the north, the islands and potential marine developments. Other options have been mooted for south Scotland.
18. SSE suggested the introduction of guidance and prioritisation based on electricity grid implications depending on the ease of connection and the extent of upgrade or new build and where appropriate, and the publication of installed capacity guidance based on grid capacities. They suggested a factor which should be considered (as well as the direct impacts of generation) is the ascending environmental impact of extending the grid from restringing existing routes through to establishing new routes across undeveloped corridors.
19. The industry are concerned that despite the criteria-based advice contained in NPPG 6 many projects take two to three years or more to secure planning consent and Scottish Power note a significant deterioration in local authority approval rates. There are concerns that these timescales act as a significant brake on growth.
20. UK supply companies report facing severe difficulties in meeting the Renewables Obligation. The industry are concerned that renewables production is currently falling considerably short of the Obligation's requirements, and that the position is likely to be exacerbated as the targets increase towards 2010 whilst the approval rate for renewable projects continues to be constrained by the planning process.
21. Scottish Power suggest windfarm planning applications should be processed within an eight month period. To address delays in processing applications and progress towards renewable energy targets the issue of resources was raised.
22. Scottish Power recognise that funding resources is a key issue and welcome the recent proposals (under consultation) to increase fees for Section 36 applications and to apportion funds to local authorities with an incentive for timely processing. They want this principle (both increased fees and financial incentives) to be extended to non-Section 36 planning applications on a pro-rata basis.
23. Scottish Power emphasise the importance of involving local communities in, and offering community benefits from renewable energy projects. They suggested strengthening of guidance and enhanced statutory requirements with regard to consultation with communities to ensure more consistent standards across the industry, for example, by making scoping a mandatory part of the EIA process. It was felt that this approach would help foster positive relations at an early stage. COSLA stressed the economic benefits of renewables.
24. Highland Council asked for advice on permitted development rights for domestic wind turbines.
25. VisitScotland highlighted the importance of tourism as a key driver of economic activity and in sustaining small businesses and remote rural and island communities. They consider that tourism interests such as landscape, where relevant, should be afforded significant consideration in the siting of windfarm developments.
26. Conflicting research positions were presented by VisitScotland and Scottish Power in respect to visitor attitudes to onshore wind farms. VisitScotland's commissioned research found that a quarter of visitors say they will not return to an area where they feel a wind farm has been insensitively sited and where it detracts from the scenery which has been the major reason for their visit. VisitScotland has no evidence to support the thesis that wind farms could become a visitor attraction and would urge caution as to this concept gaining any credence. Conversely Scottish Power sited research which shows strong public support for wind power and that wind farms do not deter tourism.
27. Scottish Environment LINK welcomed the Executive announcement that the SEA of the Scottish coastline will be carried out to help identify potential offshore sites for wave and tidal power developments. SNH state that a SEA should be undertaken for all types of marine renewable. The proposed marine SEA could be used to help guide the location and scale of marine renewables development around Scotland. This in turn will have a strong interaction with transmission requirements and location. SNH advised that given the marine SEA work is not as yet begun, there may be a need to structure that work with a view to enabling the Forum to have a general strategic view at an early stage, with sufficient high-level information to help in guiding these broad locational issues. There was a general belief that the Forum should address offshore as well as onshore renewable planning issues, given the expectation of the significant role offshore technologies are likely to play from 2010 on, and the impact on onshore servicing and transmission requirements.
28. RTPI comment that with the identification of areas of 'marine energy potential' in the NPF it would be appropriate to look at the issue of spatial strategy, both terrestrial and marine in the context of the work leading to the review of the NPF. The issue of integration of regimes and spatial analysis for marine spatial planning and on-shore spatial planning was raised and they suggested the NPF should be promoted as a key tool for marine spatial planning.
29. Scottish Environment Link welcome the creation of EAFRE but are concerned that it has no formal relationship with the Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland ( FREDS). As the remit of these forums overlap a formal relationship should be established.
30. RTPI supports the Scottish Executive intention to continue with the research project to examine more fundamental principles for planning policy with a long-term view they suggest the question of community benefits should be included in the research brief. SNH advocate for each technology a spatial distribution with target quota be set, which would be informed by further research using GIS analysis, assessment of local authorities' strategies and through a marine SEA.
Public Perception & Involvement
31. Concerns were raised about the level of awareness and understanding of renewables amongst the wider public and some local politicians. The industry feel that given the vocal minority that is spreading concerns about wind energy in general and new windfarm proposals, there is an urgent need to tackle public perceptions by communicating positive messages about the reasons for the Executive's targets and the benefits of wind energy. Scottish Power see a key role for the Executive in organising a Communication Strategy to raise understanding and to specifically tackle mis-information, to help decision-making.
ANNEX C: EAFRE CONCERN PAPERS: SUGGESTED WAY FORWARD
Review of National Planning Policy Guideline ( NPPG) 6: Renewable Energy
The Executive will commence a review of NPPG 6 immediately. Research on the effectiveness of existing policies will not be undertaken since this will delay progress. Instead, the views of EAFRE members, and others, will inform the preparation of revised draft guidance for public consultation.
Strategic environmental assessment
SEA will be undertaken as part of the review process. This will better enable the identification and assessment of significant environmental effects (both positive and negative) of implementing any change in planning policy. The SEA will consider a number of options, including what more should be done by the Executive to facilitate best choice of sites.
Response to EAFRE concerns
Following the December 2004 meeting of the Forum members submitted concern papers to the Executive. A summary of these has been circulated to members.
- Executive does not consider that a Scottish Energy Policy is appropriate or necessary. It accepts that there are a number of issues that need to be addressed relating specifically to renewable energy. The Forum will be kept informed of, and input to, this future work.
- Executive will continue to consider, with the UK Government, how best to ensure adequate and appropriate energy provision and how this can be best balanced with the need for energy efficiency.
- Executive recognise the need to ensure that the environmental and climate change benefits of renewable energy are delivered in a way which maximises efficient utilisation of resources and investment (including grid capacity) whilst recognising the need to address local and environmental constraints.
- Recent Ministerial announcement confirmed that renewable energy targets will now be expressed in GigaWatts rather than as a % of electricity generation.
- Target of 40% now expressed as 6GW. Taking into account consented projects, this will require a further 3.4GW of additional renewable projects to be built by 2020.
- Review process to consider possibility, and implications, of setting regional targets. EAFRE views to be sought on this.
Ministers want to see their renewables targets met through the development of a diverse range of technologies (see Annex D). We would welcome proposals as to how that mix might best be achieved.
- Review of NPPG 6 to assess the role of the planning system in facilitating the development of other renewable sources.
- FREDS undertaking work on new and developing technologies, including biomass, marine and hydrogen. Agree the need to ensure mechanisms are in place so that new technologies are developed to a stage where they become commercially viable and can contribute to the achievement of the target and to the Executive's aim of achieving a diverse renewable energy generation portfolio.
- Further guidance will be provided in the revised NPPG 6. Executive will discuss with EAFRE how best to address this issue.
- Planning Minister has confirmed that cumulative impact can already be taken into account when considering wind farms applications. Executive expect planning authorities to attach increased significance to this issue when considering specific proposals and for developers to demonstrate what measures will be taken to address likely cumulative impacts on a case by case basis.
- Executive has written to planning authorities highlighting that cumulative impact should, where appropriate, be an important material consideration when considering specific proposals.
Review of NPPG6
The purpose of revised SPP 6 will be to set out how the planning system can most appropriately support the Executive's renewable energy target in a way that recognises other interests, including impacts on the environment and communities. This will mean considering how best to provide for the 6 GW target. The policies, which will be discussed with EAFRE and subject to SEA, could cover the following issues:
- consider the need for a national spatial strategy for wind farms
- reflect any Ministerial target (national, or potentially regional) in terms of GW and confirm the intention to measure progress against that
- reflect such targets in developing the strategic environmental assessment to encourage development in the most effective and least sensitive locations, thereby helping facilitate selection of the best projects. The review process could consider the merits of converting our national target into a handful of regional targets, taking account of eg landscape assessment and grid constraints; these would in turn be reflected in LAs' future development plans
- consider whether preference might be given to proposals that made best use of the existing and planned transmission grid thus reducing the need for new electricity routes
Protecting the environment
- provide greater protection to the natural and built heritage by making clear where development should generally be considered inappropriate
- place greater emphasis on protecting locally and regionally important natural and cultural landscapes which are not currently protected by designated area status
- place greater emphasis on the need to protect tourism and recreational activities
- increase the protection given to affected communities ( i.e. by defining separation distances)
- require planning authorities to define/reflect broad areas in their development plans
- outline how the development plan system should provide a framework for decision taking which reflects national targets
- promote notification to Ministers where authorities proposed to grant consent contrary to the revised guidance
- Publish a Planning Advice Note on Microrenewables.
- Include work in forthcoming research on the review of the General Permitted Development Order which to examine the option of giving permitted development rights to micro-renewables, including small scale wind turbines, solar and photovoltaic installations.
- Consider what more can be done to incorporate microrenewables in new developments.
New fee arrangements for Section 36 applications came into force on 1 July. These include provision to reimburse planning authorities for their input to the decision making process.
Planning White Paper sets out reforms that include how major planning applications will be handled. Likely that these will result in fees being raised for major planning applications to reflect the cost of processing them more closely. Will discuss financial implications of the new system with local authorities.
As with all forms of development, community benefits are provided entirely on a voluntary basis by developers. Given this, the Executive does not consider it appropriate to seek to influence how such funds are administered since they are generally provided outwith the scope of the planning system and cannot play a role in influencing the outcome of a specific proposal. It should properly remain a matter for developers to decide whether to provide community benefits, including distribution arrangements, etc.
ANNEX D: SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE NEWS RELEASE: 20 JUNE 2005
SCOTLAND ON ROAD TO MEETING RENEWABLES TARGETS
Scotland is well placed to meet its ambitious renewable energy targets, a report published by the Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland ( FREDS) revealed today.
The report, by the Forum's sub-group on Future Generation, looks at the role and challenges renewable energy will face up to 2020.
It confirms that there are no technical obstacles involved in connecting the required new generation to the electricity network, although there will be upgrades and new investment required.
FREDS chairman and Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace said:
"Today's report sets out the progress which still needs to be made if we are to meet our renewables targets, and is the culmination of a great deal of work and effort on the part of FREDS.
"The report has concluded that, based on projections of future electricity demand, renewables generation totalling 6,000 MegaWatts of capacity will be needed to reach our target of generating 40 per cent of Scotland's electricity by 2020 - this means over 3,000 additional MegaWatts in addition to the capacity already consented or operational.
"I am absolutely clear that this figure should not be thought of as a cap. Scotland has enormous potential, and the range of technologies which we are determined to support could easily take us beyond this figure.
"We remain fully committed to promoting diverse technological developments. FREDS has warned that setting targets or reserving capacity for individual technologies would be detrimental to the development of the sector as a whole.
"There is a prize to be won in economic and employment terms from these potential developments - I will look to FREDS to take the lead in investigating and quantifying these benefits. I am sure this will complement the Green Jobs Strategy which I launched last week.
"At the same time, we accept the group's recommendation that every effort should be made towards the continued implementation of the FREDS marine, biomass and hydrogen sub-groups."
Sandy Cumming, chief executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and chairman of the Future Generation sub-group said:
"The continuing support of Scottish Executive and UK government for the full range of renewable generation technologies is vital to ensure investor confidence in this emerging market. This, in turn, is the key to ensuring the ongoing development of the electricity network to accommodate additional capacity easily and economically.
"Scotland is well placed to meet and even exceed its ambitious renewable energy targets. Utilising what are some of the best wind, wave and tidal resources in Europe and our abundant wood fuel supplies will help counter the effects of global warming. It will also create a viable new industry bringing real and sustainable benefit to some of Scotland's most remote areas and communities. Rapid, but responsible, progress towards these two estimable goals is now crucial."
Lewis Dale from National Grid Company and a member of the group that produced the report said:
"A key topic addressed in the report concerns the impact of renewables and particularly wind generation on the future security of supplies for Scotland and on the operation of the wider Great Britain electricity market. We are satisfied that, provided the associated network reinforcements are completed, the variability of output from the wind resources that could be developed in Scotland can be managed within the GB electricity system."
Maf Smith, Chief Executive of the Scottish Renewables Forum, and a member of the group that produced the report said:
"This report shows that it is vital that we make sure emerging technologies are fast-tracked so that they too can play their part in meeting Scotland's renewables targets. However, FREDS has agreed that this cannot be done through holding back onshore wind, but quickening the pace that biomass, wave and tidal are brought to market and able to compete."
Charles Berry, ScottishPower's Executive Director UK said:
"I welcome today's report. Scotland has the best renewable energy sources in Europe, and the report shows the potential to meet or exceed our targets. By doing so, and by developing a range of new technologies, I believe we can demonstrate Scotland to be world class in combating climate change".
Jim Wallace is Chairman of FREDS - the forum brings together representatives from the Scottish Executive, local authorities, the Enterprise Networks, the new renewables industry, the established energy industry, academia and other stakeholders
ANNEX E: SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE NEWS RELEASE: 22 July 2005
FUTURE OF SCOTTISH RENEWABLE ENERGY MAPPED OUT
Scottish Executive Ministers have today set out the next steps to take forward work on renewable energy.
Challenging targets for the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources have already been set.
These targets will now be expressed in terms of installed capacity in order to have a better quantified and more widely understood target.
Minister for Enterprise Nicol Stephen said:
"We are committed to promoting the increased use of Scotland's renewable energy resources. We recognise the ability of renewables to tackle causes of climate change as well as their potential to support economic growth.
"Our strategy for renewable energy ' Securing a Renewable Future: Scotland's Renewable Energy' built on the Executive's previous target that 18% of electricity generated in Scotland should come from renewable sources by 2010, raising our aim to 40% renewables by 2020.
"Renewable energy projects already in operation and so far consented to, should together allow us to meet the 2010 target.
"The Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland ( FREDS), which I chair, has recommended that the 40% target should now be expressed in terms of installed capacity and related to Scottish electricity demand rather than generation. FREDS' assessment is that a total of 3.4GW of additional renewables projects beyond those already built and consented, would be required to meet that 40% target, now expressed as a total of 6GW.
"We propose to accept and act upon this recommendation and will monitor progress against the 6GW target. We have also accepted the findings of FREDS' reports on developing Scotland's biomass and marine energy potential. Action to implement their recommendations is underway.
"Ministers see a particular opportunity in the shorter term to encourage the development of biomass plants which use Scotland's wood fuel resource.
" FREDS also considers that many of the current proposals for onshore wind development are speculative and are likely to drop out of the system. The Executive agrees this view and does not expect anything like all of the current volume of developer interest in onshore wind to be consented.
"We have made clear our aim to see Scotland's renewable electricity generation targets being met through the development of a range of technologies and we will bring forward detailed proposals in order to achieve that aim."
The June 2005 Planning White Paper confirms the Executive's commitment to review its planning policies for renewable energy development. This review will consider how the planning system can best ensure that the Executive's renewable energy targets can continue to be delivered in a way that recognises other local and environmental considerations.
Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said:
"Our policy on renewable energy developments is contained in National Planning Policy Guideline ( NPPG) 6. It accepts that not every location will be suitable and that developments should not be permitted where they will have a significant long term detrimental impact on the amenity of people living nearby.
"It also seeks to ensure that we meet our international and national statutory obligations to protect designated areas, species and habitats of natural interest, and the historic environment.
"We believe that NPPG 6 continues to provide a fair and robust framework for renewable energy developments. However, we are starting a review of NPPG 6 and as part of the review will consider the need for a national spatial framework or regional targets for wind farms. We will continue to use the Environmental Advisory Forum for Renewable Energy to help shape planning policy.
"Cumulative impact can already be taken into account when considering wind farm applications. As more proposals for wind farms come forward we expect increased significance to be attached to the consideration of cumulative impact. Further guidance on cumulative impact will be provided in the review of NPPG 6, the process for which will be underpinned by strategic environmental assessment and a public consultation."
NOTES FOR NEWS EDITORS
1. Securing a Renewable Future: Scotland's Renewable Energy sets a target to generate 40% of Scotland's electricity from renewable sources by 2020. This document is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/environment/srfe-00.asp
2. FREDS is tasked with promoting and encouraging the renewable energy sector and helping Scotland realise its potential as a world leader in the industry. FREDS papers are available at www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Business-Industry/infrastructure/19185/17613.
3. NPPG 6 sets out the considerations that should be taken into account when considering proposals for renewable energy developments. It is available at: www.scotland.gov.uk/library3/planning/nppg/nppg6-00.asp.
Contact: Stuart Lewis: 0131 244 2682
ANNEX F: SPECIFICATION
Strategic Environmental Assessment - Review of National Planning Policy Guideline ( NPPG) 6: Renewable Energy Developments
1. This commission is for assistance in undertaking Strategic Environmental Assessment of the review of NPPG 6: Renewable Energy Developments.
2. This project brief specifies the requirements of the commission, describes how it will be managed and sets out required deliverables against which payment will be made.
3. Scottish Ministers are committed to promoting the increased use of renewable energy sources. This commitment recognises renewables' ability to tackle causes of climate change as well as their potential to support economic growth. The Scottish Executive strategy for renewable energy ' Securing a Renewable Future: Scotland's Renewable Energy ' set a target that 18% of electricity generated in Scotland should come from renewable sources by 2010, rising to 40% by 2020. Renewable energy capacity already installed, plus capacity that has been consented but not yet built, will be sufficient to meet the 2010 target.
4. The Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland ( FREDS) has recommended that the 40% target should now be expressed in terms of installed capacity and related to Scottish electricity demand rather than generation. Their assessment is that a total of 3.4GW of additional renewables projects beyond those already built and consented, would be required to meet that 40% target, now to be expressed as a total of 6GW. Scottish Ministers propose to accept and act upon this recommendation.
5. We are committed to reviewing ) 6NPPGNational Planning Policy Guideline ( , published in 2000, which sets out planning policy on renewable energy developments, in the context of the wider energy policy. This will involve a change in its title to Scottish Planning Policy ( SPP) 6. The review will be undertaken by the Executive's Planning Division and the Energy and Telecommunications Division. It will examine all aspect of the policy, although we have already committed to providing further guidance on cumulative impact and considering the need for a national spatial framework or regional targets for wind farms.
6. The Environmental Advisory Forum on Renewable Energy ( EAFRE) comprising representation from the industry, local government, SNH, SEPA, Historic Scotland, NGOs and the Executive has been established to inform the review.
7. The review is expected to reach a consultation draft stage at the start of 2006. That consultation draft should be accompanied by a draft Environmental Report under the terms of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Scotland) Regulations 2004; SSI no. 258). It is hoped to finalise the Review during 2006 taking account inter alia of every opinion expressed on the draft Environmental Report, at which point the draft Environmental Report should also be finalised. This commission is for scoping, preparing the draft Environmental Report and assessing the consultation responses in relation to finalising SPP 6, and undertaking any necessary work to prepare the final Environmental Report.
Aims and Objectives
8. The objectives include:
- identifying what needs to be done to meet the requirements of the SEA Regulations;
- providing a detailed methodology and timetable for the work;
- identifying and collate baseline environmental information 1;
- undertake scoping in accordance with SEA Regulations, this will include an assessment of the likely significant environmental effects, identification of the scope and level of detail of information to be included in the Environmental Report, and agreement with SNH, SEPA and Historic Scotland.
- defining environmental protection objectives and how they have been taken into account;
- consideration of any likely transboundary effects;
- assessment of reasonable alternatives;
- assessment of environmental effects and identification of mitigation options;
- providing a draft Environmental Report;
- providing a report which collates and assesses all consultation responses to the Environmental Report; and
- undertaking any necessary further work and finalising the report alongside the final SPP 6.
10. The Executive envisage that the commission should start in August and that a report on scoping should be feasible within a few weeks. Thereafter, work on preparing a draft Environmental Report in parallel with drafting of SPP 6 should continue until the start of 2006. At a date to be agreed with the Executive a draft Environmental Report shall be submitted in a form suitable for publication alongside the draft SPP 6. Thereafter, a report on consultation responses will be drawn up with recommendations for further work as required. Any such further work will take place alongside finalisation of SPP 6 in 2006, and a final Environmental Statement will be submitted by the date of publication of the final SPP 6.
11. Six copies of all written outputs are required and it will also be submitted in electronic format compatible with Microsoft Word.
12. The contractor will also be required to give a presentation of the findings to the Executive and separately to the EAFREat the draft stage, and again at the final stage.
13. Tenderers will be required to demonstrate an understanding of SEA legislation and methods, and preferably have experience of SEA. They should also have experience of renewable energy developments, where this is not available in-house they should demonstrate how they will buy in this expertise. Any decision on whether to tender in relation to conflict of interest should rest solely with the tenderer, and the client will not offer any advice on this matter.
14. Tenderers shall indicate their tender price in three stages: the price for scoping; the price for subsequent work staged to submission of the draft Environmental Report and report on responses to it; and the price through to submission of a final Environmental Report.
15. This project will be conducted under The Scottish Executive Conditions of Contract for Services ( SETC2), for "Firm" price. A copy of these conditions is attached and tenderers are advised to consult them before submitting a tender. For the purpose of this study a 'Purchase Order' will be deemed to be this brief and the letter of appointment to the successful contractor
16. Invoices shall be submitted to the project manager in arrears. These shall identify the amount claimed broken down by member of staff and the cumulative amount in relation to the agreed cost profile.
17. This project will be managed by: (any changes will be notified in writing)Ben Train
Planning Division 3
Tel: 0131 244 7532
Fax: 0131 244 7555
20. The contractor should allow for four meetings with the Executive in addition to the inception meeting and presentations of findings (see paragraph 12). Additional management meetings will be convened as necessary. The contractor will provide relevant papers for meetings at least one week prior to the meeting, will prepare a minute of all meetings and circulate a copy to those concerned within 7 working days.
Period of the Contract
21. The period of the contract will be: August 2005 until December 2006, subject to the Scottish Executive's right of early termination. For the period of the Contract, the Contractor will be retained on a non-exclusive as required basis.1.
The Scottish Executive already holds a range of information in its Geographic Information System ( ESRI) including environmental designations, overhead power lines and details of installed, approved and proposed wind farms. This information will be made available to the successful consultants. Please call Liz Pringle ( GI Analyst) to discuss further 0131 244 7467. [Additional information eg. wind speed and electricity grid constraints will be available from Edinburgh University - to discuss further please contact Neil Stewart 0141 242 5846.] Modelling will be necessary to assess the environmental impacts and alternatives.
Minutes of the 6 th meeting held on Tuesday 24 th May 2005, at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen.
Jim Wallace (Chair), Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise
Keith MacLean, Scottish and Southern Energy
David Sigsworth, Scottish and Southern Energy (chair of Hydrogen sub-group)
Keith Anderson, Scottish Power (substituting for Ian Russell / Charles Berry)
Sandy Cumming, Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Maf Smith, Scottish Renewable Forum (substituting for Rob Forrest)
Richard Yemm, Ocean Power Delivery
Jeremy Sainsbury, Natural Power Consultants
Ian Bryden, The Robert Gordon University
Keith Anderson, Scottish Power
Graham McKee, Scottish Enterprise
Sarah Kydd, Renewables UK
Tony Amor, ITI Energy
Paul Blakely, Talisman Energy ( UK)
Malcolm Twist, Weir Group
Paul McKelvie, Scottish Power (chair of Skills sub-group)
Wilson Malone, Scottish Executive
Neil Stewart - (Scottish Executive)
Bobby Ronnie - (Scottish Executive)
James Thomson - (Scottish Executive)
Colin Taylor - ( FREDS Secretariat)
Ian Russell - (Scottish Power)
Charles Berry - (Scottish Power)
Jack Perry - (Scottish Enterprise)
Stephen Boyd - ( STUC)
Donald Workman - (The Royal Bank of Scotland)
Archie Campbell - ( CoSLA)
Ian Marchant - (Scottish and Southern Energy)
AGENDA ITEM 1 - WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
1. The Minister welcomed members to the 6th meeting of the Forum. He also welcomed Keith MacLean of Scottish and Southern Energy (representing Ian Marchant), Keith Anderson of Scottish Power (representing Charles Berry and Ian Russell), Paul McKelvie of Scottish Power (chair of Skills sub-group) and David Sigsworth of Scottish and Southern Energy (chair of Hydrogen sub-group).
AGENDA ITEM 2 - Minutes of previous meeting - Paper FREDS2005 (01)
2. The minutes of the 5 th meeting held on 31 January 2005 were agreed. The Minister referred members to Annex A of the paper FREDS2005(07), setting out the progress against the actions agreed at the previous meeting, and asked if members were content that all actions had either been satisfactorily addressed or were ongoing with satisfactory progress being made. Members confirmed that they were content.
3. In response to a question as to whether the Marine Energy Group ( MEG) had met since the last FREDS meeting it was confirmed that the joint chairs had met to discuss progress and that they were content that the MEG recommendations were being addressed via the FREDS Delivery Plan and the Skills sub-group.
AGENDA ITEM 3 - Matters Arising
4. Further to discussions at the last meeting, where it was agreed that the FREDS secretariat would investigate how FREDS could engage with, and be kept aware of, renewables issues within the EU, the Minister stated that the Executive would arrange an initial meeting bringing together representatives from FREDS, UKREP, DTI, SEEUO and the Directorate General for Energy and Transport. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss EU issues impacting on renewables in Scotland. The Executive will report back on the outcome of this meeting at the next meeting of FREDS.
Environmental Advisory Forum
5. The Minister referred to the action from the previous meeting where it was agreed that the FREDS secretariat would ensure that the minutes from the Environmental Advisory Forum on Renewable Energy would be made available to members. He explained that there had not been an Advisory Forum meeting since December and, consequently, there were no further minutes available but stated that the FREDS secretariat would ensure that these were copied to members when available and that the minutes from the FREDS meetings would be made available to EIA Forum members.
DTI's Renewables Advisory Board ( RAB) Finance Group
6. On the action agreed at the previous meeting that Donald Workman would attend the DTI's Renewables Advisory Board ( RAB) Finance Group and report back to FREDS members, the Minister explained that this group had not met since the last FREDS meeting, but that a report would be provided at the FREDS meeting in October.
Actions/outcomes from Agenda Item 3
- Scottish Executive to arrange an initial meeting bringing together representatives from FREDS, UKREP, DTI, SEEUO and the Directorate General for Energy and Transport to discuss EU issues impacting on renewables in Scotland. An update to be provided to the next FREDS meeting.
- FREDS secretariat to provide minutes of next meeting of Environmental Advisory Forum on Renewable Energy as soon as they are available. Report to be provided to next FREDS meeting.
- Donald Workman to provide update on meeting(s) of DTI's Renewables Advisory Board ( RAB) Finance Group to next FREDS meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 4 - FREDS Progress Report and Delivering Plan - Papers FREDS2005 (07) and (08)
7. Colin Taylor presented these two papers and explained that these delivered the actions from previous meetings relating to the need to formulate an action plan (the Delivery Plan) to deliver the recommendations of the FREDS sub-groups and to provide a report at each FREDS meeting on progress against this plan. He explained that the Delivery Plan would be amended to capture additional recommendations and actions as further sub-groups reported and as work progressed. Members confirmed that they were content with the overall approach and with the progress to date. The importance of capturing the key actions from all of the work being carried out under FREDS was emphasised and it was agreed that a 'matrix' form of presentation would be investigated to illustrate progress against actions relating to specific renewable technologies and to general actions.
8. On the issue of progress against the MEG recommendations, some members expressed concern with the DTI proposed assistance package for marine energy, specifically the fact that the amount available for any one scheme would be capped. It was emphasised that the capped amount would not be sufficient to fund the transition from R&D to a commercially viable technology. It was agreed that Sarah Kydd would set up a meeting between the joint chairs of MEG and DTI to discuss these issues.
Actions/outcomes from Agenda item 4.
- Colin Taylor to consider matrix from of presentation of actions in Delivery Plan with a view to presenting to next FREDS meeting.
- Sarah Kydd to set up meeting between joint chairs of MEG and DTI to discuss issues around proposed marine energy assistance package.
AGENDA ITEM 5 - Hydrogen Sub-Group Interim Report - Paper FREDS2005 (09)
9. David Sigsworth reported to FREDS on the progress of the hydrogen sub group ( HEG). He said HEG's work was taking longer than expected due to the broad nature of its remit, diverse views within the group and having to consider work being carried out elsewhere in the UK. He stated that a major focus was on exploring what hydrogen and fuel cell developments could be realistically achieved in Scotland and on applications or developments that might be unique to Scotland. When asked by the Minister what developments might be unique to Scotland, he identified 'off grid' applications and solid oxide fuel cells as areas in which Scotland has an advantage.
10. He presented the group's interim report and stated that he expected the final report to be completed within 6 months. He informed the meeting that IPA Consulting were to be engaged to perform an analysis of various aspects of the hydrogen and fuel cells markets. This work would guide HEG in drawing its final conclusions. It was agreed that a further update would be provided at the next meeting of FREDS.
Actions/outcomes from Agenda item 5.
- HEG progress to be reported to the next meeting of FREDS.
AGENDA ITEM 6 - Report from Skills Sub-Group - Paper FREDS 2005(10)
11. Paul McKelvie gave a presentation explaining the findings of the skills sub group. Some discussions took place around the fact that many elements of what is required in terms of skills and skills development are already in place and the need to ensure that existing skills were retained in Scotland. Paul commented that these issues would be dealt with in the final report and that it was intended that this would be completed by the end of July. The recommendations of the sub-group were accepted by FREDS.
Actions/outcomes from Agenda item 6.
- Skills report to be finalised and published as soon as possible.
AGENDA ITEM 7 - Report from Future Generation Sub-Group - Paper FREDS2005 (11)
12. Sandy Cumming presented the paper produced by the group and outlined the main conclusions. He commented that the group had been set a very challenging deadline but that he viewed the report as an excellent document dealing with a number of very important issues. He stated that the group had also considered issues around economic and community benefits and suggested that a presentation be made on this topic at the next FREDS meeting. This was agreed.
13. A number of views were expressed around how best to ensure that a diverse mix of generation technologies was achieved. It was agreed that no technology should be constrained but emphasised that emerging technologies required ongoing support if they were to become commercially viable.
14. The Minister stated that the report should emphasise that the target was not a cap on the amount of renewable generation that might be accommodated in Scotland. The report was accepted subject to this change and it was agreed that it should be published as soon as possible.
Actions /outcomes from Agenda Item 7
- Report to be amended to state that targets are not caps. Report to be published as soon as possible.
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise to give presentation on community and economic benefits at next FREDS meeting.
AGENDA ITEM 8 - Update on Grid Issues
15. Scottish Power and SSE provided verbal updates on a number of issues including NGT's consultation on the GB connection queue, GB transmission charging issues, progress on Beauly-Denny and discussions with Ofgem around the need to progress with the upgrade to the Scotland-England interconnector as soon as possible.
AGENDA ITEM 9 - Discussion on GBRO Consultation Documents
16. Neil Stewart provided a verbal update on the various consultations around the review of the Renewable Obligation.
AGENDA ITEM 10 - Report on DTI/Executive Campaign: "Hearts and Minds" - Paper FREDS 2005(12)
17. Sarah Kydd provided an update on the "Hearts and Minds Campaign". Members agreed that this campaign was important and emphasised the need to be on the 'front foot' in the debate.
AGENDA ITEM 11 - Intermediary Technology Institute
18. A short presentation on the work to date of ITI Energy was given by Tony Amor.
AGENDA ITEM 12 - Any Other Business
19. No further items were raised. The date/venue of the next meeting were confirmed as 3 October at Meridian Court, Glasgow.