With its extensive marine assets, The Crown Estate is working on projects that could see a third of the UK's electricity requirements met by wind and marine renewable energy by 2020
The marine estate is around 30 million hectares in size, with 22,000km of coastline, roughly equal to the distance from New York to Shanghai and back again
The Crown Estate manages a multi-billion-pound property and land portfolio across the UK. The Crown Estate has extensive marine assets, including 55% of the foreshore, approximately half of the estuary beds and tidal rivers, and virtually the entire seabed out to 12 nautical miles, including the rights to explore and utilise the natural resources of the UK continental shelf (excluding oil, gas and coal). The two main objectives of The Crown Estate, as laid down by Parliament, are to enhance the value of the our four main estates ? urban, rural, Windsor and marine ? and to earn a surplus for the benefit of the UK taxpayer.
The Crown Estate has utilised the UK?s advantageous geographical position to harness offshore wind power. This has included three leasing rounds of the seabed for offshore wind-farm developments, and the world?s first wave and tidal leasing programme. In total, wind and marine renewable energy programmes could provide around a third of the UK?s electricity requirements by 2020. As a consequence, over half a million jobs could be created over the next two decades.
Strategic, long-term planning of marine estate is required to effectively manage this resource. Therefore, The Crown Estate looks to technological developments to support this, whether for wave, tidal, offshore wind or carbon capture and gas storage programmes. These innovations are vital to retain the UK?s world-leading position in both offshore wind-installed capacity and in wave and tidal.
Developments could have several possible benefits from shaping leasing programmes, making the most effective use of spatial planning both in terms of space and time, and de-risking our current and future renewables programmes, while supporting and enhancing our unique knowledge, which will transform business sectors. The Crown Estate is reviewing the current benefits the technology industry has to offer and examining the future technology trends, identifying gaps in knowledge that are most pertinent.
The Crown Estate in-house marine special planning tool, MaRS, has the ability to manage potential conflicts and align opportunities with other uses of the marine estate, the wider marine community and to help us understand the interacting with other users of our oceans and environmental features. MaRS was used in the planning stages in the third round of offshore wind farms, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world, by identifying early on the best zones. Round 3 increases the scale of offshore wind and allows developers to plan for the longer-term requirements of offshore wind power. Round 3 is a significant opportunity in the UK offshore wind industry and a development from Rounds 1 and 2. In 2000, The Crown Estate ran Round 1 of offshore wind-farm licensing and Round 2 followed in 2003.
In addition to these projects, The Crown Estate completed a programme of offshore wind-farm licensing within Scottish territorial waters. Separate from Rounds 1, 2 and 3, this programme aims to deliver an additional 6.5GW of offshore wind energy with a potential market investment of £20bn. Moreover The Crown Estate recently received applications for Round 1 and Round 2 site extensions, as well as demonstration sites, to address some of the technical challenges that face the offshore wind industry in the offshore wind rounds described above. The Crown Estate is working towards offshore wind demonstration sites being awarded this year and are aiming for projects to be constructed quickly to meet the industry?s needs.
Soon, The Crown Estate will be announcing the awards of the wave and tidal energy leasing programme which has a potential market investment of £5bn. It is anticipated that this programme will be able to generate at least 700MW of wave and tidal energy by 2020 so the industry has this timescale to mature. All these programmes are designed to deliver up to a third of the UK?s electricity requirements within 10 years.
The Crown Estate,
16 New Burlington Place,
London, W1S 2HX
Tel: 020 7851 5395?
Fax: 020 7851 5125
Added the 26 April 2010 in category Innovation UK Vol6-1