Baker Consultants, an ecological consultancy working on various offshore projects including wind developments in the North Sea and the Baltic, has gained a deserved reputation for innovation. PES asked them to expand on the latest in remote sensing technology and how they have developed this into a new ecological surveying service that could aid the offshore wind sector in better meeting environmental consents and driving down offshore wind costs.
The cost of offshore wind development is continually falling; often as a result of technological advances. With new technology being implemented across the sector, from engineering to environmental management, health and safety to O and M, the offshore wind industry is becoming ever more sophisticated. Businesses working within the sector must lead this innovation, continually developing new and improved methods of working.
Ecology and offshore wind
Most countries recognise the importance of protecting the marine environment and have introduced legislation to ensure its safeguarding. In Europe, for example, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires EU member states to maintain Good Environmental Status (GES) of their seas. This has put pressure on the offshore wind industry, alongside other offshore industries, to minimise the impacts of its operations on the physical and biological marine environments. Many EU countries have now introduced regulations and guidance to meet MSFD criteria, including restricting the generation of noise within the marine environment.