Environmental study to inform location of future offshore energy developments
A new Government study of the UK's shores has recommended that between 5,000 to 7,000 more offshore wind turbines could be installed. This would be enough to power the equivalent of almost all the homes in the UK (assuming 3.6MW to 5MW turbines).
An Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), produced by Hartley Anderson Ltd, assesses the potential for further development in offshore wind, as well as oil and gas licensing and natural gas storage. The environmental report, the bulk of it, records vital information on bird populations, mammals, plankton and more. Following a twelve week consultation on this report, the Government will propose an "acceptable" level of offshore wind development, as well as offshore oil and gas licensing.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: "This report provides a real advance in our understanding of the ecology and geology of the UK marine environment so we can continue to ensure that projects like wind farms are built in the most suitable places and that we will also protect the natural environment."
The Government has already proposed increases in the financial incentives to make the UK an attractive place for offshore wind development. Seven wind farms (North Hoyle, Scroby Sands, Kentish Flats, Barrow, Burbo Bank, Lynn and Inner Dowsing) are already operating off the UK coast, five more are being built, nine have been approved and two are in the planning process.
> DECC's offshore wind pages