Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland forge seabed data alliance

Crown Estate Scotland and the Crown Estate have forged a partnership to collect and share data that will provide a more comprehensive and integrated understanding of the UK’s seabed.

Crown Estate Scotland (Illustration)

The new arrangement is said to benefit its many users, the natural environment, and expedite the sustainable deployment of offshore technologies critical to the UK’s transition to a net-zero energy future.

Founded by the Crown Estate in 2013 as the first source of its type, the Marine Data Exchange (MDE) provides a digital platform for gathering and disseminating essential information related to a wide range of offshore activities.

With one of the world’s most extensive collections of freely available data relating to the seas around England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the portal will now be extended to cover Scottish waters as well.

The platform offers users access to an “unparalleled” range of information from a variety of industries, including offshore wind, tidal and wave energy, and marine aggregates, as well as data from research and evidence projects.

“By working together to create a better understanding of the seabed, we can more effectively support the UK’s transition to an energy secure, net zero future and make smarter decisions for the benefit of the natural world and the many people who use the marine environment,” said Gus Jaspert, Managing Director for Marine, The Crown Estate.

The Marine Data Exchange forms part of the Crown Estate’s ongoing commitment to investing in evidence and data as part of its strategic focus on climate change and energy security, nature recovery, and support for economic growth, said the Scottish seabed manager.

“The MDE will help the UK to decarbonise and meet its net-zero targets by supporting the delivery of the recently concluded ScotWind Leasing round, which involves 20 projects totalling 27.6GW of clean energy and which is central to efforts to tackle the climate emergency, secure the UK’s energy supply, and generate billions of pounds of investment in the economy,” said Colin Palmer, Director of Marine, Crown Estate Scotland.

Scotland has 38 GW of offshore wind in its potential pipeline, according to the draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan issued on January 10 by the Scottish Government.