GIS constraints analysis GIS constraints analysis

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Offshore wind Round 4 - a site selection puzzle

Round 4 bidders face a complex site selection challenge. Some constraints are well understood but others are so far untested for the offshore wind industry.

The UK offshore wind industry is going from strength to strength. Fuelled by political backing (Sector Deal, 30GW by 2030), rapid cost efficiencies seen at CfD auctions and increasing public support for Net Zero, the industry is buoyant.

The recent launch by The Crown Estate of Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 paves the way for the next exciting chapter for the industry, maintaining the UK’s position as a world leader in renewable energy.

From ABPmer’s perspective, there has never been a time when sustainable development has had more focus. Supporting clients in many marine sectors (including shipping, energy, renewables, aggregates, fisheries) shows that to co-exist in the marine environment, project planning will increasingly need to be married with cumulative impact assessment.

Bidders for the Round 4 leases face a complex technical and commercial challenge during site selection and tendering. Some constraints to site selection are well understood (such as no go areas with existing activities or infrastructure) whilst others, including the passage of projects through the Plan-level Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), may involve statutory processes that are untested for the offshore wind industry.

As a business ABPmer is excited to play its part in the UK’s journey towards a clean energy future.

Update 15/01/20: Read about the challenges for offshore wind expansion in meeting the requirements of Article 6(4) of the Habitats Directive in our latest White Paper.

Prepared by Tony Brooks, Renewables Business Manager