The Carbon Trust has launched Stage 2 of its Offshore Renewable Joint Industry Project (ORJIP) for Offshore Wind. The programme aims to reduce consenting risk, project maturation time, cost and the environmental impact of existing and future offshore wind farms. The programme is funded by public and private partners including EDF Renewables, EDP Renewables, E.ON, Equinor, Innogy, Marine Scotland, Red Rock Power Limited, Shell, SSE Renewables, The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.
Over the next four years ORJIP Offshore Wind Stage 2 will provide a framework to identify, develop, initiate and conduct impactful, strategic research and development projects. The activities will build on the existing evidence base in respect of the overall environmental impact of offshore wind projects. This will also help to better inform consenting authorities and offshore wind farm developers on the environmental risk that is associated with planned and existing offshore wind projects.
Mr Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scotland’s minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands commented: “As set out in our Programme for Government, we are committed to supporting research that will help address challenges with the sustainability of offshore renewables. Working collaboratively with others is at the heart of this and we welcome this partnership approach to strategic research that recognises interests across developers and public bodies, as well as the Scottish Government and our counterparts in the other devolved administrations.”
Jan Matthiesen, director of Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust commented: “It is clear that offshore wind will continue to play a critical role in decarbonising energy and helping to meet net zero ambitions set out by the IPCC. As outlined in the recent sector deal, the UK has committed to quadruple the amount of installed capacity. Increased ambition will bring new challenges, which will need a collaborative effort to address. The Carbon Trust is extremely excited to launch ORJIP Offshore Wind Stage 2, with the backing of key players across the industry. Stage 1 created a solid foundation to build on and we look forward to working with the partners to advance a progressive programme of research to reduce the consenting risk associated with offshore wind development.”
ORJIP Offshore Wind was originally launched in 2012. During Stage 1 the programme made a significant contribution to the evidence base around the impact of offshore wind on marine life, which has allowed for more informed consenting decisions to be made. Major studies included an investigation into the efficacy of Acoustic Deterrent Devices on different marine mammals and a pioneering two year study to record and quantify the avoidance behaviour of seabirds around offshore wind farms.