New Offshore Wind Environmental Evidence Register Launched
The first ever UK-wide register of offshore wind environmental evidence gaps has been launched. This register has been developed by the Government’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is funded by The Crown Estate through the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme.
The Offshore Wind Environmental Evidence Register (OWEER) will build, for the first time, a publicly accessible UK-wide register of evidence gaps and relevant research projects across three main areas – the seabed, marine mammals, and seabirds – to support the knowledge base for the development of new offshore wind farms.
"We’re pleased to lead on the delivery of the first UK-wide environmental evidence register for offshore wind farms.
Rebecca Pow MP, Environment Minister,
Download the OWEER
The OWEER will increase understanding of the current breadth and scope of the research field, it will help to reduce duplication, identify key funders and researchers, and improve the sharing of project findings. It will also raise the awareness of current research to help facilitate debate, discussion and change.
Led by Defra, the OWEER was created by JNCC with input from a number of contributing organisations, for The Crown Estate’s Offshore Wind Evidence and Change (OWEC) programme.
This Register draws together the key evidence gaps around offshore wind environmental impacts as well as documenting research projects recently completed, in progress and in planning, that are relevant to reducing these evidence gaps.
The primary purpose of this register is to assist in prioritising funding for the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change (OWEC) programme of strategic research, but by being publicly available, it can also be used to highlight priority evidence gaps, increase understanding of the breadth and scope of the research field, reduce project duplication, foster collaboration and disseminate project findings.
This is the first iteration of the OWEER (V1.0), from which JNCC will update on a 6 monthly basis.
"Given the huge UK Government ambitions for offshore wind, alongside the current biodiversity and climate change crises, it is critical that we further the vital strategic scientific evidence required to support sustainable management of our seas
Karen Hall, Offshore Wind Lead, Marine Management Team, JNCC
"Ensuring that decisions on future offshore wind farm development are based on the best possible scientific information is vital in helping to deliver the infrastructure needed to achieve net zero emissions, while maintaining healthy, biodiverse seas.
Mandy King, Programme Manager for the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme at The Crown Estate
The OWEER is being used to inform the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme, ensuring its strategic evidence projects are targeted where they can make the biggest difference in improving our understanding of the likely impacts of offshore wind development on our precious marine environment. It is also intended to encourage collaboration and help inform other offshore wind research programmes.
The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme is led by The Crown Estate, which has committed to a five year £25m ‘kick-starter’ investment. It is being delivered in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The OWEC programme focuses on four overarching themes, identified through collaboration with stakeholders, which are:
- Spatial co-ordination and co-location
- Understanding environmental effects
- Unlocking more offshore wind through "derogation"
- Delivering net environmental gains
This is an ambitious strategic research and data-led programme to facilitate the sustainable and coordinated expansion of offshore wind in the UK. It is a five-year programme that will play a pivotal role in achieving the environmental aspirations of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal alongside other strategic delivery programmes. The Programme is led by The Crown Estate in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It is being delivered in collaboration with a number of organisations that share an interest in planning for the future of offshore wind.