The Impact of Offshore Windfarms on Marine Organisms

Initiator Fund

Project period: May – July 2014

GW4 Community Leads
University of Bath: Phillipe Blondeli
University of Bristol: Andy Radford, Daniel Robert
Cardiff University: Roger Falconer
University of Exeter: Rick Bruintjes, Steve Simpson, Darren Croft, Matt Witt, Phillipp Thies

Project outcomes

renewable energy
Offshore renewable energy is gaining importance as a valuable alternative to hydrocarbon energy, and the UK is a world leader in the construction of offshore windfarms aiming to provide 33 GW of energy by 2020. This energy may provide sustainable and clean energy with minimal harm to the environment, however, two important questions remain unanswered:

  1. What is the impact of large-scale offshore windfarm construction on marine organisms, especially with regards to high impact pile driving?
  2. Within windfarms fishing will be limited. How can the value of these sites be maximised, e.g. co-locating aquaculture?

Piling Rig set up

This project has allowed testing of new ideas in the real world which will lead to high impact interdisciplinary publications. A valuable research network of world-known scientists has been created and two research grant proposals were produced and submitted to the Catapult Environmental Programme. There are plans to submit future NERC large grants applications and for GW4 studentships.