To ensure that the FOW industry is able to scale in the rapid and sustainable manner required, it will be essential to have an efficient, timely, and transparent development and consenting process that retains the required levels of rigour and diligence to support appropriate development. It is also desirable to consider opportunities for floating offshore wind to have a broader positive impact on biodiversity and health of the marine environment.

Image: Turbines at sea, part of a floating wind network

Technical Challenges and Opportunities

A key area of focus will be the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process, which must be informed by a relevant, robust and proportionate body of knowledge and data.  Given the key technology differences between FOW and bottom-fixed wind farms, FOW is likely to have a number of distinct environmental interactions.  However, environmental monitoring opportunities within operational FOW farms have been limited due to the relatively small scale of FOW deployment to date. This, in addition to the rapid growth of the industry, means there is a requirement for FOW developers and stakeholders to work together pro-actively to anticipate, understand, assess and manage potential environmental interactions as part of a timely and efficient consenting process. As such, a major process of evidence and knowledge building is required across a range of environmental ‘receptors’.

UK Supply Chain Opportunity

The UK’s leading role in floating offshore wind also presents opportunities with respect to environmental interactions. More specifically, the UK is well placed to develop world leading services and approaches to identify, assess and manage environmental interactions. In doing so, the UK shall support the development of floating offshore wind internationally, whilst ensuring that related environmental services create Gross Value Add (GVA) in the UK through exports.

Team at work on a floating turbine, contributing to the wind network.

What are we doing to help?

The FOW CoE is building a strong foundation of expertise in this field and has developed a clear “Environmental Interactions” roadmap which is continuing to be followed. 

Our priorities are to:

  • Investigate and communicate project development risks & opportunities through research and practical project delivery.

  • Identify, prioritise & address key knowledge gaps for supply chain, stakeholders and partners by conducting research.

  • Support innovative solutions and supply chain through conducting research and innovation challenges.

Our key environmental receptors include:

Live opportunities for getting involved

There aren’t currently any open application windows for opportunities associated with this Strategic Programme. Please check back in again soon.

Photo of the Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm project courtesy of Principle Power

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