1  Introduction


The objective of task 2.5 has been to bring together existing knowledge concerning offshore wind farms in relation to the following subjects:

  environmental impacts

  conflicts of interest

  social acceptance



This draft report has been prepared based on answers to questionnaires received from 13 European Countries, evaluating the different topics, as seen from within each of these countries. The answers given to the individual questionnaires can be found in Annex 1, arranged in order of subjects.


Where appropriate, each member of the concerted action has indicated the importance of specific subjects by giving them numbers from 1-3, 1 indicating high importance and 3 low importance.


On basis of this ranking and the responses from the members of the Concerted Action, and on the basis of interviews with key players within offshore wind energy, selected references have been reviewed in order to achieve the most up-to-date knowledge of the relevant issues of this cluster.


The focus, in particular for the section on environmental impact, has been to point to issues, which may become potential barriers for the large-scale development of offshore wind industry. Therefore the well-known environmental beneficial effects of wind turbine produced power are not specifically mentioned here (but in the report from Cluster 2.4). It must however be noted that these benefits, the avoidance of pollutant gasses and the preservations of raw materials like gas and coal, should be clearly stated in the Environmental Impact Assessment and that the emphasizing of these positive environmental impacts is crucial in relation to the public and political acceptance of wind energy. A study on the positive impacts may be necessary as these may differ in detail from the onshore situation, e.g. different pollutant levels per kWh; job creation rate per kW different. Some work exists on this but may need final definition (see Draft Report on WP 2.4.).




1. Introduction
2. Environmental Impact
3. Conflicts of Interest
4. Social Acceptance
5. National Policies
6. Ongoing Research Projects
7. General Conclusions
8. Selected References
9. Appendix