UK evaluates tidal and wave leasing

Illustration (Photo: EMEC)
Illustration (Photo: EMEC)

UK government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is conducting a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of a draft plan to enable future leasing for wave, tidal, and offshore wind devices off England and Wales.

DECC published the Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment (OESEA3) report and set up a public consultation period which closes on April 26, 2016.

The aim of OESEA3 is to consider the environmental implications of DECC’s draft plan/programme to enable further licensing/leasing for offshore energy – oil and gas, hydrocarbon gas storage, carbon dioxide storage and marine renewables including wind, wave, tidal stream and tidal range.

When it comes to marine renewables, the draft covers parts of the UK Exclusive Economic Zone and the territorial waters of England and Wales, without including the Scottish Renewable Energy Zone and Scottish and Northern Irish waters.

In view of the relatively early stage of technological development, a target generation capacity for wave and tidal stream technologies is not set in the draft plan/programme.

The SEA process aims to help inform licensing and leasing decisions by considering the environmental implications of the proposed plan and the potential activities which could result from their implementation.

It is intended to inform the UK government’s decisions on the draft plan/programme, and provide routes for public and stakeholder participation in the process.