RYA wants your opinion on new Wind Farm plans

by RYA 
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform is conducting a consultation into the proposed scope of Strategic Environmental Assessment for a Draft Plan to hold further rounds of offshore wind leasing, offshore oil and gas licensing and hydrocarbon gas storage licensing in UK waters.

According to the Scoping Report published on 10 December 2007, the Draft Plan intends to enable further rounds of offshore wind farm leasing in the UK territorial waters and beyond in the UK Renewable Energy Zone (REZ). The REZ extends outside territorial waters and the UK may exercise its rights for energy production. The report does not include Scottish territorial waters or the territorial waters of Northern Ireland. The objective is to achieve 25GW of additional generating capacity by 2020.

The Plan also proposes to hold further rounds of oil and gas licensing in UK waters and will also include the storage of hydrocarbon reserves in these licensing rounds in UK waters.

All these targets for renewable energy are aimed at reaching the Government’s energy policy goals set out in the Energy White paper that was published in May 2007, a cut of 60% of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 with significant cuts by 2020.

The implications for recreational boating will depend on the proposed location and type of developments that are being proposed. 25GW of wind farms equates to well over 4000 wind turbines based on a 6MW turbine which is the largest that is currently being used. Most existing turbines generate 2-4MW which substantially increases the number of turbines.

Developments within the territorial waters may affect UK cruising routes and those beyond may well affect international cruising routes. If you have any comments on the report and wish to feed them into the RYA’s response please email environment@rya.org.uk.

The RYA will be submitting a response from the RYA by 1st February 2008.

For copy of the Scoping Report, please go to the Strategic Environmental Assessment website.