Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor


(CfD) Allocation Round 4


Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


British Energy Seurity Strategy


Climate Change Act 2008


Committee on Climate Change


Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009


Carbon Capture (Use) and Storage


Crown Estate Scotland


Contract for Difference


The UN's Conference of the Parties


Demand Side Response, an ancillary service


Energy Systems Catapult


NGESO's annual Electricity Ten Year Statement


Electric Vehicle


NGESO’s annual Future Energy Scenarios


Financial Investment Decision


Frequency Response, an ancillary service


Northern Ireland operates under a different electricity market framework to the rest of Great Britain (GB). Great Britain (GB) is referenced in relation to electricity generation and transmission, and Scotland, or the UK, are referenced as the nation(s) which have legally committed to Net Zero carbon emissions.


Generic Design Assessment (for nuclear reactors)


Greenhouse Gas


Holistic Network Design, part of the Offshore Transmission Network Review


High Voltage Direct Current


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Levelised Cost of Generation


The UK’s Low Carbon Transition Plan


Nationally Determined Contributions (to the Paris Agreement)


National Engineering Policy Centre


National Electricity Transmission System


National Grid Electricity System Operator


The UK’s National Infrastructure Commission


NGESO’s annual Network Options Assessment


National Policy Statements for Energy Infrastructure


National Transmission System (for Gas)


Office for Nuclear Regulation


Offshore Wind Farm


Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult


Scottish 2021/22 Programme for Government


Renewable Energy Sources


Small Modular Reactor


NGESO’s System Operability Framework


Scottish Territorial Waters


The Crown Estate


Transmission Entry Capacity

1. Executive Summary

  1. This Statement of Need (the Statement) accompanies the application submitted to Marine Scotland Licencing Operations Team (MS-LOT) by Berwick Bank Windfarm Limited (the Applicant), to support the applications made under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for consent to install and operate Berwick Bank Wind Farm and associated infrastructure with a generation capacity exceeding 50 megawatts (MW) (the Project) and application for marine licences pursuant to the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.
  2. The Project will include offshore and onshore infrastructure including an offshore generating station (array), offshore export cables to landfall and onshore transmission cables leading to an onshore substation with electrical balancing infrastructure, and connection to the electricity transmission network. The offshore components of the Project seaward of MHWS are referred to as the Proposed Development.
  3. The array comprises 307 wind turbines, with an estimated capacity of 4.1 gigawatt (GW). The array will be approximately 47.6 km offshore of the East Lothian coastline and 37.8 km from the Scottish Borders coastline at St, Abbs. It lies to the south of the offshore wind farms known as Seagreen and Seagreen 1A, south-east of Inch Cape and east of Neart Na Goaithe.
  4. As the majority of the Project is located in Scottish Waters, the Scottish Ministers are the primary Regulatory Authority in respect of the necessary consents and licences required for the construction and operation of an offshore wind farm project. To allow the Scottish Ministers to properly consider the development proposals, developers are required to provide information which demonstrates compliance with the relevant legislation and allows adequate understanding of the material considerations.
  5. Consent is required under Section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989, as well as a Marine Licence obtained under the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Habitats Regulations Appraisal consent is also required under The Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994 as amended, The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (both referred to as the “Habitats Regulations”) and the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats &c) Regulations 2007 / The Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017, as amended (referred to as the “Offshore Habitats Regulations”). Where an offshore energy project, such as an offshore wind farm, requires Section 36 Consent and a Marine Licence, MS-LOT, on behalf of the Scottish Ministers, can process both consent applications jointly
  6. The Project has secured Grid Connection Offers from National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) for 4.1GW of Transmission Entry Capacity.
  7. This Statement for offshore wind describes how and why the Proposed Development addresses all relevant aspects of established and emerging Scottish government and UK government Policy.

  1. The case for need is built upon the contribution of the Project to the three important policy aims of decarbonisation:
  • Net Zero and the importance of deploying zero-carbon generation assets at scale;
  • Security of supply (geographically and technologically diverse supplies); and
  • Affordability.
  1. Section 2 provides an overview of legislation relevant to Scotland, principally the commitment made through the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019, to reduce emissions of all major greenhouse gases by at least 100% by 2045 from 1990 levels. UK legislation is also discussed, to the extent it relates to the legal commitment made by the UK government, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to achieve Net Zero by 2050, thereby ending the UK’s contribution to global warming within 30 years.
  2. Section 3 describes how decarbonisation in Scotland and the wider UK has been achieved to date, and sets out why further decarbonisation is needed urgently to meet national climate commitments. The section also includes descriptions of the key policies in place for both Scotland and the UK to drive to their respective Net Zero targets. The section concludes that all new low carbon power generation projects which will make valuable contributions to achieving Net Zero, should be delivered as soon as possible. Many more projects than those currently in development pipelines will be required under all potential future scenarios of how to meet Net Zero.
  3. Section 4 analyses future Scottish and UK electricity demand and concludes that it will grow significantly through strategic actions to achieve decarbonisation-through-                           electrification of other industry sectors, and this underpins the urgent need for significant new low carbon electricity generation developments in Scotland and the UK.
  4. Section 5 provides an up-to-date view of the past and potential future contributions of key technologies to decarbonisation in the UK, and describes expert future views of what constitutes a Net Zero consistent energy system, and the considerations needed now to balance decarbonisation with security of supply and affordability.
  5. Section 6 describes in detail how the Project supports decarbonisation through an assessment of its contribution to the various quantifiable 2030 targets set by the Scottish and UK governments as a pathway to meeting their climate change commitments.
  6. Section 7 analyses the contribution of offshore wind generation to security of supply, from the perspectives of sufficient electricity supply, and of system operation. The section concludes that the Project, if consented, would make a significant contribution to an adequate and dependable GB generation mix.
  7. Section 8 provides an analysis of commercial aspects of large-scale offshore wind, as a future contributor to a low carbon GB electricity supply system, in comparison to alternate technologies.
  8. Section 9 lists the conclusions of this Statement of Need. Namely, that significant capacities of low carbon offshore wind generation are needed in Scotland and in the UK. Therefore, the Project, if consented, will help meet Scottish government and UK government objectives of delivering sustainable development to enable decarbonisation, ensuring our energy supply is secure, low carbon and provides benefits to GB consumers.
  9. It is the view of the author of this report that the Project presents a significant low regrets opportunity for Scotland to make progress against its 2045 legal commitments, by bringing to operation a large capacity of low carbon power generation from the mid 2020s. The Project will enable Scotland to reduce further the carbon content of the power it consumes, as well as to enable the decarbonisation of Scottish heat and transport energy consumption either directly or through growth in Scottish hydrogen electrolysis facilities. Without the Project, Scotland will require more imports of electricity from the wider UK for longer to meet its growing electricity demand. Because Scotland is already further ahead than the wider UK in decarbonising its electricity supply, imported electricity is likely to have been generated with a higher carbon content, therefore potentially jeopardising Scotland's progress to Net Zero by 2045.
  10. Scotland is also a key contributor to efforts to decarbonise the wider UK, and if a significant capacity of offshore wind generation is not built out to a scale comparable with that in the projections provided by NGESO and others, then the UK will be highly unlikely to continue to reduce its carbon emissions over the coming decade, and ultimately may fail to meet its legally binding decarbonisation targets.
  11. The Project will provide a significant and vital contribution towards meeting Scottish policy objectives for the energy sector, the Scottish need and the UK need for renewable energy, and the ambitions of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal for sustainable growth and economic benefit.
  12. The Project is a low-risk, low regrets opportunity because of its proposed location and selected technology. If delivered, it will make a significant and important contribution to decarbonisation, security of supply and affordability in the appropriate timeframes, especially if positioned against other technologies and/or development which currently carry more development or economic risk, and/or deliver over longer timescales. The Project is wholly consistent with Scottish Energy Strategy and UK energy policy, and its development will be critical if Scottish policy aims, and UK-wide policy aims, are to be achieved.
  13. This Statement has been prepared by Si Gillett, M.A.(Oxon), M.Sc.(Dist) and sets out the case for why offshore wind is a critically important generation technology to include within the future generation mix of both Scotland and the UK. This Statement predominantly calls on established and emerging primary analysis and opinion by respected experts, to support the case that the Project will help Scotland and the UK meet their legally binding carbon emissions targets, while enhancing national security of supply, and at a cost which, in relation to other electricity generation infrastructure developments, provides value for money for end-use consumers.

2. Legislation landscape

2.1. Overview

  1. This section describes the legislative landscape relevant for low carbon electricity generation asset development and describes the legal commitments made by both the UK and Scotland to deliver against climate change targets.
  2. Legal decarbonisation commitments have been made by Scotland and also by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). The UK commitment covers Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
  3. Electricity generation is an important sector for climate change, because although historically it has been a significant carbon emitter, it is now the critical enabler of deep decarbonisation across society. Electricity generation and supply in Scotland, Wales and England are connected by the National Electricity Transmission System (NETS), and the same set of operating and commercial rules applies across the NETS (although there are some geographical differences).
  4. While Northern Ireland is attached to the mainland NETS through two interconnectors, it operates under a different electricity market framework. This Statement of Need therefore refers to Great Britain (GB) in relation to electricity generation and transmission, and we refer to Scotland, or the UK, as the nation which has legally committed itself to Net Zero carbon emissions.

2.2. Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009

  1. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 (CC(S)A) creates the statutory framework for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Scotland by setting interim and ultimate targets for emission reductions. CC(S)A also provides the power for interim targets to be varied based on expert advice, and requires the Scottish Ministers to set annual targets, in secondary legislation, for Scottish emissions from 2010 to 2050. Scottish Ministers take advice from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC, see Section 2.3) on the targets they set, although a Scottish Committee on Climate change may be established to provide such advice.
  2. Secondary legislation has been made under CC(S)A to set annual targets, establish a framework for carbon accounting and introduce legislation requiring regular reporting on compliance with climate change duties among other requirements. Scotland's initial targets were to reduce emissions by 42% for 2020, and 80% by 2050, from 1990 levels.

2.3. Climate Change Act 2008

  1. The UK government, through Climate Change Act 2008 (CCA), made the UK the first country in the world to set legally binding carbon budgets, aiming to cut emissions (versus 1990 baselines) by 34% by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050, “through investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies such as renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.” [1].

  1. CCA committed the UK to sourcing 15% of its total energy (across the sectors of transport, electricity and heat) from renewable sources by 2020 and new projects were expected to need to continue to come forward urgently to ensure that this target was met. Government projections made in 2011 suggested that by 2020 about 30% or more of GB electricity generation – both centralised and small-scale – could come from renewable sources.
  2. CCA is underpinned by further legislation and policy measures. Many of these have been consolidated in the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan [1], and UK Clean Growth Strategy (2017) [2]. A statutory body, the CCC, was also created by CCA, to advise the United Kingdom and devolved governments and Parliaments on tackling and preparing for climate change, and to advise on setting carbon budgets.
  3. The UK government has set five-yearly carbon budgets which currently run until 2037, the process for setting the sixth carbon budget having concluded in April 2021. The UK met its first and second carbon budgets and is on track to outperform the third (2018 to 2022) – partly attributable to effective policy, but also attributed to changes in the applicable Emissions Trading Scheme(s) and the impact of COVID-19 on emissions [3].
  4. The CCC also report regularly to the Parliaments and Assemblies on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

2.4. COP21 / UNFCC Paris Convention and subsequent actions

  1. The global context for the need for greater capacities of low carbon generation in Scotland, the wider UK and elsewhere to come forward with pace, has developed significantly over the last seven years. In 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), for the first time ever, every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2ºC and to aim for 1.5ºC; to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate; and to make money available to deliver on these aims. The commitment to aim for 1.5ºC is important because every fraction of a degree of warming will result in many more lives lost and livelihoods damaged. Importantly therefore, every delay to decarbonisation action, because it allows for carbon emissions and therefore global warming to continue, also results in lives lost and livelihoods damaged. The Paris Agreement sets out that every 5 years countries must set out increasingly ambitious climate action, hence the need for internationally available plans for reducing emissions, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) [4].
  2. In October 2018, following the adoption by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change of the Paris Agreement, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a “Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels”. The report concluded that human-induced warming had already reached approximately 1ºC above pre-industrial levels, and that without a significant and rapid decline in emissions across all sectors, global warming would not be likely to be contained, and therefore more urgent international action is required. The ambition against which CC(S)A and CCA were established had been extended, and carbon emissions reduction targets in Scotland and the UK have subsequently been tightened.
  3. In response to the IPCC report, in May 2019, the CCC published "Net Zero: The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming.” [5]. The report recommended extensions to the ambition established in existing legislation.

  1. In recognising that Scotland has a “greater relative capacity to remove emissions than the UK as a whole” CCC recommended a Net Zero date of 2045 for Scotland [6]. As a result, CC(S)A was amended by Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 to reduce emissions of all major greenhouse gases by at least 100% by 2045 from 1990 levels, with interim targets of at least:
  • 56% by 2020;
  • 75% by 2030; and
  • 90% by 2040.
  1. Scottish Government has also published an indicative Nationally Determined Contribution: “A 2030 target to reduce emissions of all major greenhouse gases by at least 75%, compared to a 1990/1995 baseline. This target is legally binding in Scotland’s domestic law and was set in direct response to the aims of the Paris Agreement.” [7]. Scotland’s targets and delivery plans are reflected in the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution. On the “GHG Account” basis, against which performance against the legislated targets is assessed, the CCC assessed Scotland's 2019 emissions at 51.5% below 1990 levels, meaning that Scotland missed its 2019 annual target for a 55% reduction.
  2. The CCC also recommended that “The UK should set and vigorously pursue an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to Net Zero by 2050, ending the UK’s contribution to global warming within 30 years.” The CCC believed that this recommendation was "necessary [against the context of international scientific studies], feasible [in that the technology to deliver the recommendation already exists] and cost-effective”, reporting that "falling costs for key technologies mean that … renewable power (e.g. solar, wind) is now as cheap as or cheaper than fossil fuels”. Importantly, the CCC recommendation identifies a need for low carbon infrastructure development and points to an increased urgency for action.
  3. The UK implemented the CCC’s recommendation into law by the laying of a statutory instrument in UK Parliament in June 2019, which amended CCA. The UK thus became the first major economy to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.
  4. Also in May 2019, the CCC reported to Parliament that “UK action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is lagging behind what is needed to meet legally-binding emissions targets” [8]. The UK is on track to outperform its third Carbon Budget (2018 to 2022), but is not currently on track to meet the fourth (2023-2027) or fifth (2028-2032). Recognising the need for progress in decarbonisation to continue, the CCCs recommendations for a sixth carbon budget, running from 2033 – 2037, included measures which, when delivered, will result in a 78% reduction in UK territorial emissions between 1990 and 2035, in effect, bringing forwards the UK’s previous 80% target by nearly 15 years [3].
  5. In December 2020, the UK formally submitted its NDC to the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement. The UK commitment covers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the commitment is an at least 68% economy-wide net reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to reference year levels [9], and CCC's recommendations for the Sixth Carbon Budget were legally adopted in April 2021. Figure 21 shows the CCC's advice on the level of the Sixth Carbon Budget. The Sixth Carbon Budget will require emissions to reduce by 2035 to 78% below 1990 levels, including the UK’s share of international aviation and international shipping emissions. The budget equates to a 63% reduction on 2019 emissions, by when emissions had already fallen around 40% since 1990.

2.5. COP26: Uniting the world to tackle climate change

  1. The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) was held in Glasgow on 31 October – 13 November 2021. COP26 brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. As the first COP since the first NDCs had been published since Paris, the run up to COP26 in Glasgow was a critical moment in the world’s mission to keep the hope of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C alive [4]. International pledges could be reviewed and amalgamated, and a view of global commitments made towards limiting carbon Chart, line chart

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    emissions and adapting to climate change could be created for the first time.
Figure 2-1:
The UK's six Carbon Budgets and trajectory to Net Zero 2050

Figure 21: The UK's six Carbon Budgets and trajectory to Net Zero 2050



  1. Agreements were reached on many themes at COP26, including: science and urgency; adaption; adaption finance; mitigation; finance, technology transfer and capacity-building for mitigation and adaptation; loss and damage; implementation; collaboration; and confirmation and developments of elements of the Paris rulebook.

  1. Of greatest relevance to this Statement of Need, specifically because collective progress to date to reduce emissions has not been sufficient, are the outcomes agreed at COP26 relating to mitigation: setting out the steps and commitments that Parties will take to accelerate efforts to reduce emissions “to keep 1.5°C in reach”. Key achievements at COP26 under the theme of mitigation include [10]:
  • Over 90% of world Gross Domestic Product and around 90% of global emissions are now covered by net zero commitments and 153 countries have put forward new or updated emissions NDCs, which collectively cover around 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Net Zero is a global endeavour and the world is getting on board;
  • The importance of action now to address the urgency of climate change and drive emissions down before 2030 was cemented in an agreement from all parties to revisit and strengthen their current emissions targets to 2030, in 2022;
  • The role of clean electricity in delivering climate action, and the importance of driving down emissions from fossil fuel generators as well as increase capacity of renewable generators, was acknowledged in the negotiated agreement by 190 countries at COP26 to “phase down coal power”. Further commitments to cease international coal finance and direct public support of unabated fossil fuel energy, by the end of 2021 and 2022 respectively, will free funds to be redirected for deployment in renewable energy;
  • Accounting for over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and around half the world’s consumption of oil, road transport is a critical sector to decarbonise with pace. Agreement was reached by countries, cities, companies, investors and vehicle manufacturers to target all new car and van sales to be zero emission by 2040 globally and 2035 in leading market, and ultimately to phase our fossil fuelled vehicles. Electrification of transport is inevitable, underway and accelerating. Low carbon electricity supply must keep growing to provide the energy to enable the rapid displacement of oil.
  1. It is appropriate that COP26 was held in Scotland, because of the significant leadership and progress shown by Scotland through its climate actions and ambitious climate change targets. And as the COP26 Outcomes report reminds its readers: “we must continue the work of COP26 with concerted and immediate global effort to deliver on all pledges” in order to keep alive the hope of limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C.

  1. The Project presents an opportunity for Scotland to underpin its delivery on the COP26 mitigation pledges:
  • Scotland has its own indicative NDCs, and the Project is a critical measure in support of achieving those commitments, by providing new low carbon electricity generation facilities in Scotland to power heat transport and industrial demand and save emissions;
  • The Project will generate low carbon power in the critical 2020s and therefore before the current emissions targets date of 2030. Early action to decarbonise is important in the climate fight;
  • The Project will generate power in Scotland, meaning that less power generated in the UK needs to flow north at times of higher demand and lower supply, bringing with it the carbon emissions associated with an electricity mix which currently still includes fossil fuel fired power stations;
  • Scotland is leading the way globally in electrifying vehicles and the Project will be an essential source of low carbon power to keep Scottish people and businesses moving in new electric vehicles while at the same time, saving carbon emissions.
  1. A comparable analysis illustrates that the Project brings comparable support to the UK's decarbonisation plans.