ORE Catapult Picks 28 Companies for Offshore Renewables Growth Programme

Improved Data Collection to Shorten Consenting Times for Offshore Wind Projects by 40 Pct – Report

A new report from Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult outlines how the latest technology advancements can enable faster and more accurate data collection which could reduce consenting times for offshore wind farms by as much as 40 per cent.

ORE Catapult (Illustration)

The report, Accelerating Offshore Wind: The Role of Innovation in Decision-Making and Faster Consenting, details how robotics, AI, and smart technology can lead to improved data gathering and more efficient environmental impact monitoring.

According to the report, it could reduce the average timeline for consent from five to three years.

Examples include using computer vision with AI technology to accurately identify, track and monitor bird behaviour, to the use of autonomous underwater vehicles for passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals.

Recommendations in the report include demonstrating how the capability, speed, and accuracy of innovative technologies can create a step change in the way marine ecological data is gathered and processed.

Additionally, it would also like to see collaboration across industry, statutory bodies, and policymakers to ensure new technologies can be confidently incorporated into environmental impact assessments and future monitoring plans, and on data acquisition projects in future development areas.


“We are already seeing how the use of new technology is helping to increase our knowledge of environmental interactions across the offshore wind sector“, said Caroline Whalley, ORE Catapult’s Environmental Specialist and author of the report.

Through enhanced and more efficient data gathering, these technologies have the capacity to create greater certainty around the potential environmental effects of offshore wind, thereby reducing risk and streamlining decision-making during the consenting process.”

The UK Government target to deploy 50 GW of installed offshore wind energy by 2030 is heralding a rapid surge in wind farm installation, but this also requires a greater understanding of the marine environment.


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