UK Energy Secretary Grant Shapps has outlined a package of measures aimed at speeding up the offshore wind consenting process whilst also protecting the marine environment. He has proposed a total of five actions as part of a policy statement on its offshore wind environmental improvement package.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published its Offshore Wind Environmental Improvement Package Measures as part of its British Energy Security Strategy.



The British Energy Security Strategy, published in April 2022, includes a target of 50 GW of offshore wind, including up to 5 GW of floating wind, by 2030. It also outlined a series of measures which collectively aim to accelerate deployment whilst protecting the marine environment, including the development of an Offshore Wind Environmental Improvement Package.

Offshore Wind Environmental Improvement Package

The Offshore Wind Environmental Improvement Package aims to address the impacts of offshore wind infrastructure in the marine environment while speeding up the consenting process and protect the environment. Measures include:

  • delivery of Offshore Wind Environmental Standards (previously called nature-based design standards in the British Energy Security Strategy);
  • development of regulations and guidance to streamline the Habitats Regulations Assessment and Marine Conservation Zone assessment process for offshore wind projects;
  • delivery environmental compensatory measures across one or more offshore wind projects to compensate for adverse environmental effects on protected sites that cannot be otherwise avoided, reduced or mitigated;
  • implementation of a Marine Recovery Fund; and
  • the introduction of strategic monitoring to improve understanding of the marine environment and the measures needed to further protect it.

Three actions will require primary legislation, which will be sought through government amendments to the Energy Bill at the Lords Committee Stage later this year.

The full story can be read in Renews, ENDSreport and 4cOffshore. Further information from BEIS can be found here.

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