From Hansard and the Fisheries APPG newsletter.
This response by Lord Goldsmith to questions in the Lords about offshore wind illustrates that the Government are thinking:
The noble Baroness asked a number of specific questions. The first was again in relation to the tension between inshore fisheries and offshore wind farms. Defra is working closely with Natural England, Cefas and the Marine Management Organisation to try to better understand the tensions and then consider the appropriate solutions. We have recently commissioned work looking at opportunities for co-location and are considering examples of good practice, such as the work done in Grimsby that enables fisheries and offshore wind farm operators to work well together. This also pays dividends for the marine environment, reducing the cumulative impacts of both.
The noble Baroness mentioned the example of the US Administration, who are currently considering a compensation scheme for the fishing industry as a result of losses incurred from the expansion of offshore wind developments. In the UK, offshore wind farm developers already pay disruption compensation to fishers temporarily displaced from their grounds by offshore wind construction. Members of the Defra programmes on offshore wind-enabling actions and marine planning are meeting US Administration officials and BEIS on Monday 20 September to discuss approaches to managing the deployment of offshore wind to minimise disturbance to the marine environment and other sea users.
The noble Baroness is right that onshore pylons are unsightly and, no doubt, not environmentally friendly. Electricity from offshore wind farms is transmitted to land, as she knows, via subsea cables. The offshore transmission network review, which was led by BEIS and Ofgem, is working to increase the co-ordination of offshore transmission to reduce the overall amount of new onshore infrastructure needed to meet the Government’s offshore wind targets.
Finally, the noble Baroness asked about decommissioning. Decommissioning is considered in the consenting process for offshore wind. In addition, Defra is discussing future options for decommissioning with developers who have programmes currently going through the consenting process. Some arrays may be repowered; however, other legacy infrastructure has been colonised and now provides important biodiversity benefits. We are working with the industry to understand how decommissioning can be delivered to maximise the gains while removing any unnecessary and avoidable pressures from the marine environment.
I hope that answers the questions that the noble Baroness asked and she feels sufficiently reassured to withdraw her amendment’.