Big boost for offshore renewables with new environmental standards
A new guide for measuring the environmental impact of offshore renewables has been published today by Innovate UK and the BSI (British Standards Institution).
PD 6900 – developed with input from RenewableUK, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Marine Scotland – will identify best practice as well as higlighting unnecessary processes that can be avoided.
It also gives guidance on undertaking environmental impact assessments for offshore wind, wave and tidal stream renewable energy projects.
"The development and delivery of standards is important for driving the industrialization of offshore renewable energy", said BSI head of market development for sustainability David Fatscher.
"Appropriate standards create a foundation for growth based upon recognized benchmarks of quality and promote UK competitiveness by reducing barriers to international trade."
The UK is already the largest offshore wind market in the world, accounting for more than 55% of capacity installed within Europe. Establishing transparent standards and processes will only help to reduce costs and remove hurdles to progress within the industry, according to BSI.
A report released Wednesday revealed that the UK's onshore wind industry contributed £906m to the UK economy last year, of which almost 30% directly benefits local areas.
And with plans for further growth in the pipeline, the sector could deliver close to £7bn Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy and support over 30,000 full time jobs by the end of the decade.
In related windpower news, Ireland's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Coriolis Energy partnered in order to develop £600 million worth of onshore wind farms in the UK.
They plan to build nine projects with a total capacity of up to 400MW, enough to power 225,000 homes, with the first wind farm coming online in 2019.