The partnership will gather data and evidence to further drive the growth of offshore wind to meet the UK Government’s 2030 clean energy ambitions
The Crown Estate and the UK Government have partnered to protect and restore marine environment, as the country aims to build further offshore wind projects in the coming years.
Called the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme, the partnership will gather data and evidence to drive forward the growth of offshore wind, which is gearing up to meet the Government’s 2030 ambitions to generate 40GW of clean energy from offshore wind.
The Crown Estate will lead the partnership, which has committed to a five year £25m ‘kick-starter’ investment for the programme, along with its partners including the the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Together, they aim to bring together more than 20 stakeholder organisations to support the Government in developing a vision for the future of the UK offshore wind.
During the five-year period, the programme will carry out research and data projects to develop essential insights to better understand and address environmental considerations.
In addition, the programme is expected to provide a coordinated approach to deliver new infrastructure needed to deliver net zero emissions by 2050.
The Crown Estate CEO Dan Labbad said: “Recognising the crucial role of the nation’s seabed on our path to net zero, I’m delighted to launch this new partnership which will help lay sustainable foundations for the next phase of the offshore wind success story, in a way which will help us to maintain healthy, biodiverse seas.
“The partnership will be at the centre of how we ensure a more coordinated approach to delivering the infrastructure that will be required to tackle climate change.”
Initially, the programme will conduct the East Coast Grid Spatial study, which will be delivered with National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), National Grid Electricity Transmission and The Marine Management Organisation.
The study is expected to help understand the interactions that future offshore wind farms on east coast of England could face when transmitting energy to the network.
The Future Offshore Wind Scenarios project is the other initial project to be undertaken by the partnership.
To be delivered with Crown Estate Scotland and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the study is expected to develop and examine spatial scenarios to better understand the opportunities for deploying future offshore wind.