When rolling- out offshore energy infrastructure, great importance is put on nature-inclusive development and enhancing biodiversity. The goal of such efforts include avoiding, minimising and mitigating the potential environmental impacts, as well as positive contributions to ecological functioning of endangered species. Offshore installations can have positive effects on the local environment and can support biodiversity restoration.

Nature-inclusive designs include site selection avoiding e.g. seabird feeding areas, offshore construction timing to minimise effects on fish, and routes taken by construction vessels positioning in order to minimise the disturbance to seabirds. Monitoring, predictive computational modeling and adaptive operations like switching off a wind park to avoid collisions with migratory birds can minimise impacts further.

Other examples of environmental impact mitigation include painting offshore infrastructure including wind turbine blades, piles or cables in a pattern that minimises the incidence of collisions with birds or entanglement with fish and sea mammals.

Monitoring and adaptive operations can minimise the impacts further. Where possible the offshore renewable energy installations could help restore, offset and enhance the ecosystem by ensuring positive effects on biodiversity e.g. by creating artificial reefs or reoxygenation of oxygen deficient zones, among others.

For more information about nature-inclusive designs, please contact Ewa Spiesz or Yuki Esser.