24 February 2020

Advancing the responsible future growth of UK offshore wind

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal was published in March 2019 and provided The Crown Estate with a unique opportunity to announce its commitment to a UK-wide strategic enabling actions programme.

In partnership with the government and in collaboration with the devolved administrations, regulators, developers, operators, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs), and non-governmental organisations, the programme’s aim will be to increase the evidence base and understanding of offshore wind deployment, both in the marine area and where there are associated onshore impacts. The programme also aims to bring together key parties to develop a common understanding and take coordinated actions to address these challenges. Our ambition is to ensure findings from this work are fed back into future decision-making that will see offshore wind contribute to the UK’s 2050 net zero target in a sustainable and co-ordinated way.

Progress so far

We are delighted to welcome Mandy King as Programme Manager for the strategic enabling actions programme. Mandy is a chartered environmentalist with a wealth of experience and passion in renewables and the marine environment. She has spent nearly 10 years in government delivering consents for energy infrastructure, undertaking environmental assessments and developing policy for offshore renewables decommissioning – amongst other achievements. Mandy joined us in September 2019 and has been working collaboratively with the team here at The Crown Estate, as well as with our programme partners and stakeholders to shape the programme.

On 4 December 2019, we hosted a workshop along with our strategic programme partner organisation, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and supporting partner the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The workshop brought together policy makers, regulators and government advisors from UK administrations as well as representatives from offshore wind industry, and environmental non-governmental organisations. 

During the session we worked together to define the outcomes, goals and delivery routes that are needed for the strategic enabling actions programme to meet the challenge of increasing offshore wind deployment in the UK in a sustainable way.

Key themes emerging from the event were: on the need for strategic research and evidence-gathering projects; understanding how the sectors can work together to unlock further deployment and protect biodiversity via the “derogation process” (Habitats Regulations Assessment); increasing strategic coordination of different activities and interests, opening up new opportunities through co-location and innovation allowing multi-use of space; and developing processes and evidence so that the industry can demonstrate that it is delivering net gains for the marine environment.

What’s next?

We are continuing to engage with our programme partners and stakeholders in defining the programme. We aim to hold our inaugural programme steering group meeting shortly.

You can find out more information, relevant materials and updates on our programme webpage.

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