Wind turbines in water
Wind turbines in water

A consortium of nine organisations from across Europe will investigate the environmental impact of noise, vibration and electromagnetic emissions from renewable energy devices on marine life.

Marine renewable energy devices (MREDs) such as wind turbines are planned in Europe to address the growing requirement for alternative sources of energy. However, little is known about the impact during construction and operation on the marine environment.

The project, funded by the European Commission and co-led by Cranfield University and the DHI Group, aims to fill this information gap. A full-scale review of the environmental impacts of noise, vibrations and electromagnetic emissions on the marine environment will be undertaken, including on-site measurements of offshore wind, wave and tidal devices. The results will feed directly into upcoming EU policy developments.

Dr Andrew Gill, a marine ecologist who is leading the project for Cranfield, said: “This is an exciting project and one that has the potential to have real impact on policy development in an industry that is still growing. MREDs are important for the future of our energy supply but there is still research needed to understand their environmental impact.”

Results of the study are due in Summer 2015.

Notes for editors

In collaboration with the DHI Group, Cranfield University has assembled a high profile team of nine institutions from six EU member states including:

  • Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), UK
  • Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut (FOI), Sweden
  • Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS), UK
  • Deutsches Wind Energie Institut (DEWI), Germany
  • Management Unit of the Mathematical Model of the North Sea (MUMM), Belgium
  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) - Laboratori d'Aplicacions Bioacústiques, Spain
  • Quiet Oceans (QO), France

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Energy and Power at Cranfield

Cranfield has been a leader in energy and power for 20 years. Our expertise includes low carbon energy supply, power generation, advanced fossil fuel technologies and transport systems. Our teaching and research covers offshore renewables, oil and gas engineering, the production and clean utilisation of fossil fuels, combustion and power generation through to bioenergy and the utilisation of wastes as fuel.

We have long-standing strategic partnerships with Alstom Power, BP, Centrica, Chevron, Doosan Babcock, Dong Energy, Petrofac, Rolls-Royce, Shell, Siemens and many others.

Our world-class facilities include the Structural Integrity Laboratory, which has a wide range of equipment to study the mechanical behaviour of components and material samples up to 250,000 tonnes and has machines unique to any university in Europe, and the Ocean Systems Test Laboratory, designed for model testing at the early stage of marine renewable projects.