Identifying space for offshore wind energy in the North Sea. Consequences of scenario calculations for interactions with other marine uses

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Abstract

The increasing demand for renewable energy drives the development of offshore wind energy (OWE) leading to competing claims with other human and nature related uses of the North Sea. This paper investigates possibilities to identify space for new OWE while minimising effects on other uses. An inventory is made of the major uses in the Central and Southern North Sea, including the expected development towards 2030. The spatial distribution of non-wind uses is determined as well as the possibilities for differentiation based on density, economic value or nature value and co-existence. These possibilities are translated into calculation rules quantifying the relative importance. These calculation rules have been incorporated in a Decision Support System (DSS) to analyse how the priority of OWE development could impact non-wind uses. In a low OWE priority scenario consequences for other use was found to be very limited, with fisheries and wildlife affected most. In a high OWE priority scenario a considerable amount of OWE may be developed with substantial claims on sand extraction and military use areas and a shift towards higher value categories for shipping and fisheries. Relocation and co-existence of uses are important means to reduce the impact of increased OWE development. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-333
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume68
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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