14 November 2016
€3mn fund dedicated to researching the environmental impact of offshore wind
Vattenfall, the Swedish energy company, has shortlisted projects for a €3mn scientific research programme to understand the environmental impacts of offshore wind.
Sixteen projects have been shortlisted from an extensive list of almost 100 original applications by a specialist scientific panel comprised of environmental agencies, scientists, AREG and representatives of Vattenfall. It is expected that by the end of the year the scientific panel will advise on the successful projects. The European Union is providing up to half of the funding for the programme, which is believed to be the first of its kind.
The shortlisted projects span topics such as analysis of distribution and movement of different bird, mammal and fish species, to looking at the effect of offshore wind on the environment and societies, as well as studies focused on geology.
Adam Ezzamel, project director for the EOWDC at Vattenfall, said: “It is important to harness the EOWDC as an opportunity to conduct in-depth research into offshore wind at a full-scale, near-shore facility.
“Each of these shortlisted projects has the potential to offer new insights into the sector. Through working with key environmental agencies and industry experts we will identify the successful applicants and allocate funding that will facilitate ground-breaking research into offshore wind.”
Panel members include Vattenfall, Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RSPB Scotland, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and The Crown Estate.
Erica Knott, SNH’s representative on the panel, said: “SNH is pleased to support this innovative and timely programme of research, and welcomes the substantial funding committed to it. Understanding possible interactions between offshore windfarms and our marine wildlife is key to the sustainable growth of the industry in Scotland.
“The short-listed projects target some of the most fundamental uncertainties in this area, resolution of which should inform and streamline the future consenting process for such development, in Scotland and beyond.”