Siting offshore energy arrays: A case study using interactive marine planning

Karen A. Alexander, Ron Janssen, Timothy G. O’Higgins

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Geodesign tools can be used to support collaborative planning by combining different methods such as simulation models, spatial multi-criteria analysis, visualisation and optimisation. This case study describes the use of geodesign tools to facilitate collaborative marine spatial planning. Using a real-time interactive mapping device (touch-table) and stakeholder workshops, we facilitated the negotiation of spatial trade-offs at a potential site for tidal energy extraction off the Mull of Kintyre (west coast of Scotland). The method enabled us to identify gaps in existing spatial data and to help fill these gaps through interactive user input. We identified conflicts between the interests of tidal energy developers and commercial and recreational users of the area through the workshop process and highlighted the concerns of all marine users. Furthermore, participants revealed several social, cultural and spatial issues associated with conversion of a common-pool to private resource. The workshop and touch-table combination developed a degree of consensus between conflicting users regarding the most suitable areas for the installation of offshore energy-extraction devices. This approach enabled stakeholder involvement in marine spatial planning for offshore energy generation and its use in future could lead to a more holistic and transparent process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOffshore Energy and Marine Spatial Planning
EditorsK. Yates, C. Bradshaw
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781317356417
ISBN (Print)9781138954533, 9781315666877
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameEarthscan oceans


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