Wind Power: Seas and Oceans

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what scientific research his Department (a) holds or (b) has commissioned on the potential effects on marine life of (i) offshore wind farms and (ii) construction of the Westermost Rough Offshore Wind Farm; and if he will publish the conclusions of that research.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DEFRA has funded a number of research projects on the potential effects of offshore wind farms on marine life, including:

A marine renewables research programme, looking at the potential impacts of wind farms and other renewable energy installations on the marine environment, including seabed, marine mammals and seabirds. The five-year programme, commissioned in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council, will report in late 2014.

An expert report commissioned by the Habitats and Wild Birds Directive—Marine Evidence Group entitled ‘An analysis of potential broad-scale impacts on harbour porpoise from proposed pile driving activities in the North Sea’. The report will be published in early 2014.

A report on measures that could be taken to mitigate or compensate the impacts of offshore wind farms on birds. The work, completed by MacArthur Green Ltd, will be published in early 2014.

A strategic review of offshore wind farm monitoring data associated with license conditions, completed by CEFAS in 2010.

Once completed, the reports of all DEFRA-funded research are publically available at DEFRA's Research and Development website:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/

DEFRA have not commissioned and do not hold any research specific to the construction of the Westermost Rough Wind Farm Development.

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