The use of offshore wind energy is a relatively new and a rapidly increasing activity in the marine environment. This report identifies gaps on an international scale in scientific knowledge and future research needs with regard to potential impacts from the establishment of offshore wind-farms (OWFs).
An overview of the key issues and source of potential impacts to be considered when scoping OWF proposals, as well as examples of potential impacts, are given in Table 1. A more detailed description of potential impacts during the construction, operation and removal phases is given in section 6. Further work is needed to determine the significance and/or acceptability of these impacts.
The report recognises a number of potential benefits associated with the development of offshore wind energy in section 4.
Section 5 describes some aspects to be taken into consideration in developing guidance for the location, construction, operation and removal/disposal of OWFs with the view to facilitating their development and to protecting the marine environment.