About the programme
Offshore wind has an important role to play in helping the UK achieve net zero by 2050. As manager of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we know that the sustainable growth of the offshore wind sector needs to be done in a way which is both sensitive to the importance of biodiversity in our precious marine environment and in balance with the wide range of interests from other seabed users.
To address this challenge, we have convened government bodies, the industry and key stakeholders from across the UK to work collectively on a shared mission, founded on the need to better understand and overcome the cumulative environmental impacts of offshore wind, and its effects on users of the sea and onshore communities.
The programme, known as the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme, will play a pivotal role in achieving the environmental aspirations of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal alongside other strategic delivery programmes, and the sectors full potential to support net zero.
Launched in December 2020, The Crown Estate has committed a £25m ‘kick-starter’ investment to fund and deliver a five year programme.
The programme is 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.
The programme brings together key stakeholders to gather and share evidence, and then use this enhanced evidence base to facilitate the growth of the offshore wind sector in a way that best protects and enhances the environment.
Through collaboration we have defined core programme themes and the necessary programme outcomes, which will help to find space in a busy seabed, enable better understanding of how offshore wind affects the environment and habitats, or inform understanding around environmental benefits and compensation.
The programme is bold and strategic in its ambition and activities. It is being delivered via a mix of studies, research and evidence gathering projects aimed at achieving or supporting the necessary outcomes. The programme structure provides a collaborative platform for organisations key to the future offshore wind deployment, an effective planning system and the evolution of relevant policy and decision-making to act as the ‘agents of change’.
Programme mission statement:
To facilitate the sustainable and coordinated expansion of offshore wind to help meet the UK’s commitments to low carbon energy transition whilst supporting clean, healthy, productive and biologically diverse seas.
Who is involved?
The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme is 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 is being delivered in collaboration with devolved government bodies and organisations from across the UK that have an interest in planning for the future of offshore wind.
We have established a Programme Steering Group (PSG) to provide oversight and direction to this programme and help us achieve the outcomes that will underpin the successful delivery of the programme. Click here to see a full list of members.
As well as overseeing and driving the programme, PSG members will support in the delivery of projects and outputs.