Webinar Series on Nature Inclusive Design

Properly planned roll-out of OWE and supporting grid infrastructure can provide opportunities to sustain the protection and restoration of European seas. One way to achieve this is the integration of innovative solutions such as Nature Inclusive Design (NID) alongside infrastructure. NID are measures integrated into the design of infrastructure which attempt to minimise risks and increase ecological opportunities by providing direct and indirect positive effects on biodiversity. To address this new and complex topic, in 2022 OCEaN and the Renewables Grid Initiative launched a webinar series on NID applied in offshore energy and grid infrastructure for nature-positive outcomes. For each webinar of the series, we invite Members of OCEaN to present their experiences applying NID solutions - browse the whole series below!

Webinar 1: Belgian Energy Island – Collective Early Planning for a Nature Positive Contribution in Offshore Electricity Infrastructure

Our webinar series kicked off in November 2022 with a deep dive into NID solutions that the Belgium transmission system operator, Elia, could apply in its offshore grid infrastructure (Energy Island) in the North Sea. From the beginning of the planning phase for this Energy Island, Elia has worked with relevant stakeholders in a collaborative process to find fit-for-purpose NID solutions. In this webinar, Nicolas Beck and Riet Durinck outlined this engagement strategy, its outcomes, the challenges encountered, and the context of offshore grid developments in Belgium.

Learn more about the webinar here.

Webinar 2: Enhancing marine life around the subsea electricity grids in the Dutch North Sea

Our second webinar dove into recent NID measures applied in the Dutch North Sea and featured speakers from The Rich North Sea programme (a collaborative programme between The North Sea Foundation and Natuur & Milieu) and TenneT, the transmission system operator in the Netherlands.

Eline van Onselen (Marine ecologist at The Rich North Sea) and Annemiek Hermans (Marine ecologist at TenneT) outlined recent examples of NID measures in the Netherlands’ marine space (e.g., fish hotels and eco-scours), the challenges faced, and the opportunities they foresee for offshore wind energy and grid infrastructure to enhance ecosystems.

Learn more about the webinar here.

Webinar 3: Subsea Grids Supporting Marine Biodiversity - Improving Undersea Resiliency with Nature Materials

Biorock, sea-concrete, sustainable concrete – a fascinating concept with many different names and applications. For the third edition of our NID webinar series with RGI, we explored these natural, environmentally-sourced construction materials as a new solution in the context of offshore electricity grid infrastructure. The highlight of this online discussion was presentations from Red Eléctrica, the Spanish transmission system operator, and ECOncrete on their innovative collaboration on ecological cable protection in the subsea trench between the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in Spain.

Participants heard about this innovative solution from our speakers Roberto Cabria Garcia, Marine Biologist and Environmental Technician, Red Eléctrica and Dr. Yaeli Rosenberg, Head of Biology, ECOncrete

Learn more about the webinar here.

Stay tuned for the next webinar in this series, where we will look at lessons learned from other European countries.