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UK Shipping Group Expresses Offshore Wind Concerns

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

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The U.K. Chamber of Shipping recently warned that, as plans for offshore wind projects move forward, coordination will remain necessary to ensure that these endeavors do not endanger vessels or the environment.

A new group of contracts will be up for auction in May 2019, the U.K. government announced recently. After that, auctions will follow every two years.

Offshore Wind Worries

The Chamber did note that it supports offshore wind as an energy alternative, but concerns over navigational safety for shipping remain high, Robert Merrylees, the organization's Policy Manager & Analyst, told The Maritime Executive. The question of cutting down on the fuel consumed by ships navigating around these new wind farms also remains. There is also an increased risk of collision when the vessels need to move into narrower channels during bad weather.

© iStock.com / Ian Dyball

The UK Chamber of Shipping recently warned that, as plans for offshore wind projects move forward, coordination will remain necessary to ensure that these endeavors do not endanger vessels or the environment.

Other Chamber members, who largely operate smaller ships along coastal routes, have also expressed worry about their own ways being pushed farther into deeper waters, areas normally only frequented by larger ships. This could result in unnecessary maritime congestion.

“Were an accident to happen, we also have concerns that offshore turbines may hamper the ability of search and rescue teams to access the area,” said Merrylees.

The shipping industry in the U.K. is making an effort to lessen its carbon footprint, but these changes could force vessels to reroute and spend more time on the water.

“To mitigate these risks to safety and the environment, we are calling for thorough and careful consultation and open, transparent planning of any new windfarm site,” said Merrylees.

This means a comprehensive overview of location for brand-new sites, as well as a detailed understanding of how maritime traffic will change.

   

Tagged categories: EU; Europe; Government; Infrastructure; Offshore; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Ships and vessels; Wind Farm

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