journal article

Fit-for-Purpose Information for Offshore Wind Farming Applications Part-I: Identification of Needs and Solutions.


The rapid expansion of offshore wind farms (OWFs) in European seas is accompanied by many challenges, including efficient and safe operation and maintenance, environmental protection, and biodiversity conservation. Effective decision-making for industry and environmental agencies relies on timely, multi-disciplinary marine data to assess the current state and predict the future state of the marine system. Due to high connectivity in space (land–estuarial–coastal sea), socioeconomic (multi-sectoral and cross-board), and environmental and ecological processes in sea areas containing OWFs, marine observations should be fit for purpose in relation to multiple OWF applications. This study represents an effort to map the major observation requirements (Part-I), identify observation gaps, and recommend solutions to fill those gaps (Part-II) in order to address multi-dimension challenges for the OWF industry. In Part-I, six targeted areas are selected, including OWF operation and maintenance, protection of submarine cables, wake and lee effects, transport and security, contamination, and ecological impact assessments. For each application area, key information products are identified, and integrated modeling–monitoring solutions for generating the information products are proposed based on current state-of-the-art methods. The observation requirements for these solutions, in terms of variables and spatial and temporal sampling needs, are therefore identified.
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