Sometimes, you can tell by the look of it whether a small part of any sea or ocean has been claimed for, or withholds any other interests for nature, society or organisation. Assessing the impact of a potential offshore wind farm on any other functions which use the same offshore area will identify any possible conflict of interest.
Offshore wind farms can induce an impact on shipping. The introduction of these offshore structures present new challenges to the safe navigation and communication of shipping and emergency rescue. Using a quantitative risk assessment, the impact of any offshore wind farm can be assessed.
The development of an offshore wind farm will have an impact on fisheries. The wind farm will induce several restrictions for fisheries, such as a ban on trawl fishing within its limits or a total ban on shipping within and surrounding the wind farm (no shipping zone of 50 or 500 meters). Using data of fisheries and geographical information we can assess the impact on fisheries, concerning loss of fishing grounds and its economic impact.
Offshore extraction (oil, gas and surface minerals)
The assessment of current and near-future permits for both extraction and exploration will identify possible conflicts.
Impact of the wind farm with respect to its surroundings and the International Standards and Recommended Practices of ICAO and the legislation in force on site.
The offshore structures will have an impact on the existing radar system for aviation, and shipping (both ship- and shore radar). Assessing the location and dimensions of the wind farm with respect to the existing system in which it will be placed, will identify possible conflicts.
Cables and pipelines
Several privately held cables and pipelines cross the seas. Possible conflicts of interest can be assessed using existing databases.
Assessment of current and past military activities and the development of the offshore wind farm on site. Using existing databases the potential impact and risk (ammunition dump sites) can be assessed.
Seabeds contain treasures of the past. These archaeological treasures are preferably to be preserved in situ (Malta,1992). Using existing data the development site can be assessed on the (possible) presence of archaeological findings. The output will be used in the positioning of the turbines.
Even though (nearly) out of sight, offshore wind farms can have a (perceived) impact on tourism. A visual impact assessment can help assessing the possible impact and in communication with stakeholders.
Assessing the wake-effect on surrounding, existing or permit granted wind farms.