UK Launches Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-Location Forum

The Crown Estate has announced the formation of the Offshore Wind and CCUS Co-location Forum in the UK.

The Forum will identify the key challenges and opportunities associated with the co-location of Offshore Wind and Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) infrastructure, as well as solutions to help make this a reality where needed.

Following the advice of the Climate Change Committee, both offshore wind and CCUS have a significant role to play in helping the UK achieve its net zero by 2050 obligations, The Crown Estate said.

As suitable space on the seabed is limited, and as capacities for both will need to increase to meet this target, it is anticipated that there will be a number of areas that will require infrastructure in the same location.

Led by The Crown Estate, the Forum brings together the offshore wind and CCUS industries including the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), and RenewableUK, as well as the UK Government and Crown Estate Scotland.

The Forum will provide strategic coordination of co-location research and activity and help maximise the potential of the seabed for these two critical activities.

The Forum has been developed in response to the recommendations of the ‘CCUS & Offshore Wind Overlap Study’, which examined the risks that may result from the development of offshore wind and CCUS projects in similar locations.

The central recommendation of the study is the formation of an oversight body to co-ordinate future activity in this area.

The study has been funded by The Crown Estate with support from Crown Estate Scotland and the OGA, and was conducted by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE) together with the Net Zero Technology Centre (formerly called OGTC).

”Reaching the nation’s net zero target is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Offshore renewable technologies and carbon storage have a critical role to play in reaching this target and we are focussed on maximising the potential of the seabed to enable their sustainable growth,” Huub den Rooijen, Managing Director of Marine at The Crown Estate, said.

”With the seabed more in demand than ever before, collaboration will be key to unlocking this potential. We are therefore delighted that industry, Government and Crown Estate Scotland are joining us in this ground-breaking Forum which will provide the knowledge and evidence to enable the CCUS and offshore wind sectors to flourish and deliver innovative, world-class solutions to tackle the climate challenge.”

The Forum’s first priority will be to define and shape workstreams and activities centred on resolving technical, operational, and regulatory overlap issues. The first meeting will take place towards the end of the month.

Photo: Illustration; Source: The Crown Estate (archive)