Vattenfall has announced that it will be investing £3 million into research funding to look at the impact of renewable energy on sea life such as dolphins.
The Swedish energy giant announced that the wind energy research would focus on how the offshore wind power industry impacts on the broader environment. It will be funding four projects, which will be managed from the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, located in Aberdeen.
The Project Director, Adam Ezzamel, explained that the funding would allow researchers to discover new insights into offshore wind and its impact on the broader environment, helping to inform the industry on an evidence basis for its future development.
Of the four projects that will receive the £3 million pot of funding, three are located in Scotland. Stakeholders involved in the Scottish projects include MacArthur Green, the University of St Andrews, the River Dee Trust, SMRU Consulting and Marine Scotland Science. The fourth project will be run in England, with funding being awarded to Oxford Brookes University.
The research programme is expected to be the biggest of its kind to date, and Vattenfall expects it to position Scotland as a leader in wind energy research as well as development and operation.
Glasgow's MacArthur Green will be assessing the impact of wind energy on auk seabirds who nest near the offshore turbines.
Marine Scotland Science and the River Dee Trust will be looking at the effect of offshore wind on sea trout and salmon populations.
Oxford Brookes will be focusing on the human environment and the socio-economic impacts of offshore wind.
More than one hundred applications for the funding pot were submitted, with the successful projects being chosen by a panel of 16 industry experts with particular expertise in renewable energies.