Diving into a just transition: How are fisheries considered during the emergence of renewable energy production in Scottish waters?

Inne Withouck, Paul Tett, John Doran, Beth Mouat, Rachel Shucksmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Infrastructure at sea to accommodate a transition to renewable energy and meet global climate commitments is proliferating around the world. Although there is seemingly more space at sea than on land for these new developments, anticipated and existing conflict with existing marine users such as the fishing industry have raised concerns. Yet, countries around the world have committed to a just energy transition, which should avoid disproportionate impacts on specific communities. This study introduces a framework that considers three dimensions of justice at different project planning stages to analyse whether strategies to foster justice for fisheries align with remaining barriers to justice. It was used to understand how existing and planned cable and renewables projects in Scottish waters account for energy justice in relation to the fishing industry. Procedural justice aspects of project planning have improved over time, with greater involvement of the fishing industry during the siting and design of projects. However, resource constraints limited the involvement of smaller fishing fleets, indicating a barrier to recognitional justice. Distributional justice at project level was steered by decision-making at a national level, and national targets for renewable energy generation made the fishing industry feel they are not on equal footing with project developers. The findings of this study provide key insights into the multiple dimensions of energy justice and their implications for the consideration of fisheries. Identified best practices and potential barriers to a just transition can be helpful for other nations seeking to introduce new developments into their marine space.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103135
Pages (from-to)103135
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Volume101
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Energy justice
  • Environmental impact assessment (process)
  • Fisheries
  • Marine renewable energy
  • Planning

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