Energy research

We invest in research projects to support the energy sector.

The role of research projects related to renewable and other forms of low carbon energy is to examine issues not being fully addressed elsewhere in the many programmes that are active across UK Government departments and Europe. In comparison to such programmes, our research support is a niche but demonstrably beneficial activity. It covers a diverse range of topics including, amongst others: underwater noise; the 'public good' arising from renewables; sustainability issues in the supply chain; capacity factors in the geological storage of carbon dioxide; interactions of seals with offshore wind turbines; and interactions of wildlife with tidal turbines.

A major mechanism in the funding of energy research projects is The Crown Estate's Research Network, which comprises a number of institutions across the UK (currently the universities of St Andrews, Swansea and Durham) which has been put in place to provide a research capability to deliver against our business needs. It is expected that this network will expand, in terms of the number of institutions, and diversify with respect to the number of specialist research areas included within it.

The driving force for these projects is twofold. We aim to reduce uncertainties in the consenting process for new developments, and also to understand much more about the consequences of low carbon energy developments in the marine environment. The breadth of these consequences ranges from those arising from environmental impacts through to the consequences for services, communities and social infrastructure on the adjacent regional land area.