Wind & Marine Energy Systems & StructuresAcademic Partners

Rebecca Hall

PhD Title - Assessing the cumulative displacement of seabirds from offshore windfarms in UK waters

The continual growth of more, larger wind farms in UK coastal waters will lead to a substantial area of the sea being used to generate renewable energy. With windfarms being sited in relative proximity to one another, the interaction of environmental impacts, or cumulative environmental impacts, is becoming an increasing concern.

The objective of this research is to analyse the effect of offshore windfarms on the displacement of seabirds and what that means in terms of loss of foraging habitat caused by the presence of multiple offshore windfarms. The aim is to explore if Cumulative Effects Assessments and seabird monitoring practices are sufficient for detecting displacement, and subsequently how they may be improved. Additionally, this research aims to determine what the current level of cumulative displacement is, and how much cumulative displacement may occur with further development of offshore wind.

Findings from this research can then be taken into consideration within Cumulative Effects Assessment such that the development of future windfarms can be strategically planned to account for cumulative displacement. This in turn could help optimise the location of future wind farms to reduce negative impacts and increase benefits.

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Start Date - October 2017

Institution - University of Strathclyde

Degree - MSc Renewable Energy – University of Hull,
BSc Ecology – University of Hull

Additional Information - Experience in the energy sector in environmental management and consenting.