Jeong Hwa Yi
Implementation of Strategic Environmental Assessment: A Case Study of Round 2 Offshore Wind Farm
|It is widely accepted that the integration of environment and development concerns can lead to the fulfillment of basic human needs. The UK government has recognized that to achieve this, the environmental costs and benefits of all economic and developmental activities and processes must be evaluated. This recognition has resulted in the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) taking the appropriate steps towards incorporating environmental considerations into its plans, programmes and operations, through the implementation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process for offshore wind energy in the UK.
Although the market for offshore wind farms in the UK is expected to be substantial, there still remain many uncertainties. It is strongly recommended that an offshore wind energy policy be pushed forward considering the necessity and the implications to society, the economy and the environment. This study illustrates a case study for SEA on Round 2 (R2) offshore wind energy. It also identifies some important principles that should be taken into account to ensure that sustainability considerations are appropriately addressed in the SEA.
The concluding recommendations call for the need for political support and pragmatic public involvement. The UK needs a more realistic SEA for offshore wind energy that takes account of both national and local issues, reaches timely decisions and provides more certainty of the duration of the process, while allowing the public to participate properly in the system.
A great many challenges in all aspects of the SEA have been drawn, but the lessons from this can be used in the evolution of future practices. The SEA is growing in importance by establishing itself as the formal process for planning and programmes, and as such becoming a requirement for extensive offshore development.
Keywords: Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), Offshore Wind Farm, Round 2 (R2)