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Offshore Renewable Energy & Tourism

At first sight, offshore renewables and tourism may seem distant. On one hand, tourism activities are largely land-based in coastal areas with a few limited projections towards maritime space (sailing, yachting cruising, etc). On the other hand, although linked to land via transmission networks and port connections, energy harvest and more specifically offshore wind requires offshore infrastructure located off the coast. However, the increase both in tourism flows and in offshore wind projects increases the possibility for interactions between these two sectors. There is also a growing potential for tourism and education within the perimeter of offshore wind farm areas. Offshore renewable energy developers are willing to show their farms to the public, even though security and safety requirements can make this multi-use quite complex. The challenge for MSP authorities is to ensure that the sectors coexist, in a delicate balance between the energy objectives (set at EU and national scale) and the touristic ones (national and local scale), considering how vital coastal tourism is to the economic wellbeing of some coastal communities and regions. 

This fiche sets out the range of interactions to be considered between offshore renewable energy and tourism, and what MSP can do to avoid and mitigate possible negative interactions. 

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