Greg Knight – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Greg Knight on 2016-02-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will commission a study into the effect on bird and marine life of off-shore windfarms; and if she will make a statement.

George Eustice

The Planning Inspectorate is responsible for examining development consent applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects, including offshore renewable energy installations over 100MW in English and Welsh waters and their adjacent offshore waters, and then making a recommendation to the Secretary of State at Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for the final decision.

As part of the planning process, the environmental impacts of offshore renewable energy installations are considered through the requirement to undertake project level Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs). In order to improve the evidence on the extent of the environmental impacts of offshore renewable energy installations, the Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) was initiated by DECC, Marine Scotland and The Crown Estate. ORJIP includes a longer-term project to improve empirical evidence on the impacts of offshore renewables on marine species, such as birds and marine mammals. Further information is available at http://www.carbontrust.com/client-services/technology/innovation/offshore-renewables-joint-industry-programme-orjip/.