Marine Spatial Planning for Offshore Wind Energy Projects in the North Sea: Lessons for the United States
Blake, Kara Mia
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Addressing spatial conflicts among offshore wind energy (OWE) projects and other resource users is a new issue in the United States as proposals for renewable energy projects transition from theoretical to actual installations in U.S. waters. This study investigated how three countries in the North Sea (Germany, the Netherlands, and England) with OWE projects currently deployed and operating in its waters engaged in national-level marine spatial planning (MSP) to address spatial conflicts arising among OWE projects and competing ocean uses. Experiences from representatives from each of these three countries on the North Sea confirm that MSP is a valuable mechanism for reducing spatial conflicts. MSP efforts in the United States should focus on matters of process and promoting dialogue between all resource users, in addition to content. Standardization of mapping, data collection, and reporting methods across jurisdictional boundaries can reduce miscommunications and promote symmetry in regional planning efforts.
- Marine affairs