Over the next few decades, the UK offshore wind industry will deliver a significant and growing contribution to the nation’s electricity needs and help the UK to meet its 2050 net zero ambitions.
As manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we know that finding a balance between future energy needs and the wide range of interests in the marine environment is central to achieving long-term sustainable growth of the offshore wind sector.
With this in mind, we are funding and delivering the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change (OWEC) Programme, an ambitious strategic programme that will play a pivotal role in achieving the environmental aspirations of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal alongside other strategic delivery programmes.
It forms part of The Crown Estate's active, long-term role in offshore wind, working in partnership with industry, stakeholders and Government to facilitate the coordinated growth of the sector and help to unlock the extraordinary potential of the UK's seabed. You can read more about this here.
The purpose of this programme is to facilitate the sustainable and coordinated expansion of offshore wind in the UK. This collaborative programme will help the sector to meet the UK’s commitments to the low carbon energy transition whilst supporting action to secure clean, healthy, productive and biologically diverse seas.
Who is involved?
The OWEC programme is being led by The Crown Estate, together with its programme partners, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
It will be delivered in collaboration with organisations with an interest in planning for the future of offshore wind and the underpinning evidence requirements. Prior to launch, we will be establishing the OWEC Programme Steering Group to provide oversight and direction to this programme and help us achieve the outcomes that will underpin the successful delivery of the programme.
The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme will comprise a mix of studies, research projects and evidence-gathering to help better understand and overcome the cumulative environmental impacts of offshore wind, and its effects on users of the sea and onshore communities.
In collaboration with key stakeholders, we have identified these four overarching themes as priorities.
- Spatial co-ordination and co-location
- Understanding environmental effects
- Unlocking more offshore wind through "derogation"
- Delivering net environmental gains