Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-Location Forum
Offshore wind and carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) have a significant role to play in helping the UK achieve its net zero targets, including ambitions to:
Deliver four CCUS clusters, capturing 20-30 MtCO2 across the economy per year by 2030, and
Deliver 50GW of offshore wind, including 5GW of innovative floating offshore wind by 2030.
While the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland is vast, competing demands for this space aligned to these ambitions are rapidly increasing, so a coordinated approach to its management is more vital than ever before.
The Crown Estate believes the benefits that co-location of both offshore wind and CCUS will help maximise the clean energy return from the UK’s natural heritage.
To identify solutions to the challenges presented by co-locating these two technologies and help make co-location a reality, The Crown Estate established the Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-location Forum in July 2021 which followed a recommendation from the CCUS & Offshore Wind Overlap Study.
The Forum brings together partners including the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), RenewableUK, OWIC, Government and Crown Estate Scotland to provide strategic coordination of co-location research and activity and help maximise the potential of the seabed for these two critical activities.
Purpose of the Forum
At the Forum’s inception, the member organisations agreed to a clear set of objectives:
Identify the key challenges and opportunities associated with co-location to ensure efficient use of the seabed
Facilitate collaborative working, providing strategic coordination and advice on how the UK can maximise the potential of the seabed for these two critical activities
Focus on solutions and identify a clear set of required actions to support the creation of world leading offshore wind and CCUS sectors and delivery of net zero targets
Identify innovative solutions and how these might be implemented, including publishing data and information that helps inform, support and progress delivery
Engaging stakeholders and looking at possible impact to other seabed users resulting from co-location
Our areas of focus
The work of the Forum is ongoing and there are regular meetings throughout the year to report progress on the following work streams:
Spatial characterisation and planning: Mapping where high-potential offshore wind and CCUS projects could potentially overlap, to inform a combined approach to future seabed planning and marine spatial prioritisation.
Conformance and seismic data gathering: Exploring how new technologies and updated guidelines could make it easier for essential CCUS monitoring surveys to take place in and around offshore wind infrastructure.
Best practice for simultaneous operations: A series of studies to model how co-location could affect access to sites for operational reasons (such as maintenance vessels, research vehicles, construction activity and helicopter access), and whether there are ways to co-ordinate activities to reduce impacts and open up co-location possibilities.
Wider marine planning stakeholder engagement: Modelling the impact that additional traffic created by co-location has on other sea users and highlighting opportunities to address any impact.
Opportunities for sharing resources: Analysis of whether there is a need for an integrated approach for overlapping Offshore Wind and CCUS projects, which could provide a collaborative digital framework to enable issues such as overlap planning opportunities, development planning / precedence, promotion of collaboration.
The Forum started with six permanent member organisations:
The Crown Estate Role: Chair, seabed leasing resource characterisations and spatial planning
Crown Estate Scotland Role: Seabed leasing resource characterisations
North Sea Transition Authority Role: Resource characterisations, licencing and permitting
Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Role: Government policy and implementation
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Role: Government policy and implementation
Carbon Capture Storage Association Role: CCUS industry representation
RenewableUK Role: Offshore wind industry representative
The Offshore Wind Industry Council Role: Offshore wind industry representative
Marine Management Organisation (MMO) Role: Marine planning authority for English waters.
Marine Scotland Role: Marine planning authority for Scottish waters.
Welsh Government Role: Marine planning authority for Welsh waters.
The expertise of a wider group of stakeholders will be drawn on as the work of the Forum continues to progress.
Senior Technology Manager, CCUS & Hydrogen, Marine, Energies & Infrastructure