Offshore energy

Campaign

A Climate Change campaign

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Offshore energy

Offshore energy guidance

Surfers Against Sewage believe that climate change poses a major threat to recreational water users, the marine environment and the global environment as a whole, and strongly advocates action to combat it. SAS supports the advancement of renewable energy sources, but will examine each new development on a case-by-case basis in order to assess any potential negative impacts on coastal environments, surfing resources and recreation.

Surfers Against Sewage is fully in favour of renewable energy sources, including offshore renewables. Just as we can tap off a small amount of wave energy to push us along on our boards, we can also extract energy from the winds, tide and waves and re-direct it to generate energy. However, consideration must always be given to ensure that developments are installed without degrading important natural surfing wave resources. SAS has produced a comprehensive guide aimed at developers of offshore renewables.

The guidance promotes the surfing community as an important stakeholder in this sector, within the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, highlighting sites of special surfing interest that developers should consider and avoid. Predicting whether wave energy converters (WECs) are going to damage waves and surf spots is not straightforward but can always be assessed on a case-by-case basis. SAS intends that if used effectively the guidance could help speed up the consent process for suitable offshore developments. Fundamentally, the developers need to be made aware of the value of surfing waves, not just to surfers but to the entire community. Until now, companies proposing to deploy wave energy converters have not considered or researched the value of surfing waves, or how their devices might affect them.

If the EIA processes identify significant negative impacts on the surfing waves and/or the beach environment then SAS will try to work with the developers to eliminate the impact.

SAS will not take a stance on any perceived visual impact.

Get involved

How can you help with this campaign…

  • Download our 'Guidance on environmental impact assessment of offshore renewable energy development on surfing resources and recreation'. Download document

Events timeline

Key campaign dates

2009

SAS publishes Guidance on Environmental Impact Assessment of Offshore Renewable Energy Development on Surfing Resources and Recreation.

The guidance highlights sites of special surfing interest that developers should avoid. If the guidance is used effectively it could also help speed up the consent process for suitable offshore developments. Download the PDF here…

2012

Brighton waves at threat from offshore wind farm development

SAS identified a potential reduction of 22% in wave height for Brighton due to the design and placement of the Rampion offshore windfarm.

SAS engaged the local surfing community and coordinated the campaign to protect the wave resource and ensure the developers could harness the wind energy.

2013

Win Win resolution for surfers and wind farm!

CAMPAIGN VICTORY!  Thanks to SAS’s crucial intervention with E.ON, the Rampion offshore wind farm developers, potentially catastrophic damage to local surfing waves has now been averted.

2013

Cornwall Council pass Protect Our Waves motion.

SAS are pleased to welcome Cornwall Council as the first local authority to support the Protect Our Waves petition. Cornwall Council recently voted unanimously to support the Protect Our Waves petition and recognised the vital work SAS has being undertaking to protect the valuable Cornish coastline since 1990.  Read more about this story.  

2013

SAS hand in 55,000 Protect Our Waves to 10 Downing St

SAS submitted the largest surf/enviro petition of the time calling on the UK Government to Protect Our Waves.  On the same day SAS published a new economic study demonstrating how surfing is worth £1.8 billion to the UK economy.

2014

SAS set up Protect Our Wave All Party Parliamentary Group

The Protect Our Waves All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) wasset up in 2014 in the Palace of Westminster.  Surfers Against Sewage brought together twenty-three MPs representing the majority of the UK’s key coastal communities, to address the most urgent environmental issues highlighted by the Protect Our Waves (POW) petition – marine litter, water quality and coastal development.

2015

SAS campaigns and Reps lobby their MPs for action against climate change

SAS campaigners, reps and volunteers supported the Climate Coalition For The Love Of… action.  Thousands of passionate campaigners came together to lobby their MPs to support strong action to curb green house gases.  Including the adoption of responsibly sited offshore renewable developments.

2016

showing the love for oceans, waves and beaches

On Valentine’s Day, hundreds of thousands of people the length and breadth of the UK showed their love for the people, places and life they want to protect from climate change. We took a giant green heart to the sea!