Researchers awarded share of 3million EURO to study impact of offshore wind farms

Thursday, 06 July 2017

Offshore wind farm 800x450

Researchers at Oxford Brookes University have received a share of 3million EURO to study the socio-economic impact of offshore wind on the human environment.

The study is one of four projects announced as part of Vattenfall’s ground-breaking offshore wind research programme  which is believed to be the largest-scale of its kind.

Academics at Oxford Brookes will analyse the social-economic effects of Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) from the construction stage through to becoming fully operational to help better understand how offshore wind developments can be maximised to benefit the region and local communities.

It is recognised that generating energy through renewable sources, like offshore wind farms (OWFs), is vital for society’s future. In addition to societal impacts, renewable energy generation is seen as providing economic opportunities through job creation and bringing inward investment. Despite this, the actual impacts on the economy and communities near to OWFs, have never been explored. 

Dr Bridget Durning, Senior Lecturer in the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University said: “Our project aims to explore the methods used to predict the likely socio-economic impacts of offshore wind farms, before permission is given for schemes to go ahead. 

“We will also be assessing how valid these prediction methods are and enhance the current understanding of the potential social and wellbeing advantages on communities near to OWFs.

“Using this data, we then hope to identify and highlight good practice methods to assess the impacts of OWFs and maximise local economic benefits.”

The project began last month and will continue until October 2019.