The offshore wind power industry is relatively new but increasing globally, hence it is important that the whole life-cycle is managed. The construction–operation–decommissioning cycle is likely to take 20–30 years and whilst decommissioning may not be undertaken for many years, its management needs to be addressed in both current and future marine management regimes. This can be defined within a Drivers–Activities–Pressures–State Changes–Impacts (on human Welfare)–Responses framework. This paper considers the main decommissioning options – partial or complete removal of all components. A SWOT analysis shows environmental and economic benefits in partial as opposed to complete removal, especially if habitat created on the structures has conservation or commercial value. Benefits (and repercussions) are defined in terms of losses and gains of ecosystem services and societal benefits. The legal precedents and repercussions of both options are considered in terms of the 10-tenets of sustainable marine management. Finally a ‘renewables-to-reefs’ programme is proposed.
Renewables-To-Reefs? Decommissioning Options for the Offshore Wind Power Industry
Title: Renewables-To-Reefs? Decommissioning Options for the Offshore Wind Power Industry
January 15, 2015
Journal: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Smyth, K.; Christie, N.; Burdon, D.; Atkins, J.; Barnes, R.; Elliott, M. (2015). Renewables-To-Reefs? Decommissioning Options for the Offshore Wind Power Industry. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 90(1-2), 247-258.