The Crown Estate has announced significant progress in collating world-class data, evidence and research through the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme (OWEC) to help shape and deliver future offshore wind development in a way that protects and helps restore nature and the vital marine natural environment.

OWEC, a partnership between 26 members, provides a collaborative platform for organisations with an important role to play in offshore wind development. It funds projects to help fill evidence gaps, helping to inform better decision making for nature and, in turn, helping to de-risk investment, accelerate delivery and maintain the UK’s attractiveness to invest.


Photo: Red Morley Hewitt


The programme published its annual report highlighting the key milestones achieved to ensure the UK can harness the potential of offshore wind to reach Net Zero while protecting and restoring the marine natural environment and biodiversity. These include:

  • The launch of the Offshore Wind Evidence and Knowledge Hub (OWEKH). Led by The Crown Estate and operated by AtkinsRéalis, this digital knowledge hub is set toaccelerate the consenting process by streamlining Environmental Impact Assessments and provide a collaborative space where experts from across industry and academia can join forces to shape the future of offshore wind across the UK.
  • Undertaking afirst of its kind investigation and mapping of marine restoration potential in English waters. Led by Natural England, this will play a pivotal role in the coming years identifying opportunities for major marine restoration programmes that will benefit natural environments and habitats.
  • Developingnew research advancing understanding of interactions between subsea power cables and the marine environment. This project, led by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), will help accelerate decisions in the planning and consenting of offshore wind development – and is already being used by developers.

Marine Minister, Lord Benyon said: “Accelerating the development of offshore wind farms is critical in our transition towards greener energy and reaching net zero by 2050, but we need to do this in a way that also protects and enhances our precious marine habitats. 

“The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme plays a fundamental role in providing us with the right evidence and knowledge so we can deliver an approach that works for the industry and our marine environment. I look forward to seeing what further progress we can make.”

The Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme annual report can be found here.

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