Years Active: 2009-2014


Physical and biological modellers worked together to develop model systems working at a scale relevant to physical and biological processes affected by offshore windfarms and other energy activities such as carbon capture and storage (CCS). This resulted in a nested model within the POLCOMS-ERSEM ecosystem model allowing UKERC researchers to evaluate the cumulative impacts of energy technologies and interactions with other coastal activities.

Second, the potential of offshore windfarms to provide socio-economic benefits through multiple-use, added value and improved ecosystem service (habitat creation; fish stock recovery; recreational fishing etc) was investigated.  Finally, building on the first two work packages, UKERC researchers used an area within the east coast North Sea as a test bed to forecast the potential of offshore wind to provide ecosystem goods and services to society, taking into account downstream implications.

Key Outputs

  • Austen MC,  Stephen J, Malcolm SJ, Frost M, Hattam C, Mangi, S, Stentford G, Benjamins S, Burrows M, Butenschön M, Duck C, Johns D, Merino G, Mieszkowska N, Miles A, Mitchell I, Smyth T (2011). Marine. In: The UK National Ecosystem Assessment Technical Report (UK NEA, 2011). Publishers: UNEP-WCMC.
  • Ashley MC, Mangi SC and Rodwell LD (2013) The potential of offshore wind farms to act as marine protected areas – a systematic review of current evidence. Marine Policy.
  • Hooper T. and Austen M. (2013). Tidal barrages in the UK: Ecological and social impacts, potential mitigation, and tools to support barrage planning. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 23: 289-298.