The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has called for the UK Government to support “deep water” renewable energy projects, including floating wind turbines.

The conservation charity said that deep-water schemes would pose a lower risk to marine wildlife, including seabirds.

Senior Policy Officer Melanie Coath said: “The RSPB is clear that continued government support for carefully-planned renewable energy into the 2020s is critical to the UK’s long-term energy strategy.

“There is also an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of innovative technologies like floating wind turbines, if we seize the opportunity now, and make sure we invest in understanding the impacts of those technologies so they can be rolled out in harmony with nature.”

Charity supports ‘over 90% of sites’

The RSPB’s comment came in response to the UK Government’s consultation over whether it should continue to support renewable energy projects due to start between 2020 and 2026.

“Although RSPB strongly resists renewable energy proposals where they are expected to have unacceptable wildlife impacts, it supports large-scale expansion of carefully-planned renewable energy across the UK, and does not object to over 90% of sites,” the charity said.

“The RSPB has called on the UK Government to invest in understanding the impacts of floating wind technology and overcoming any barriers to sustainable deployment, with a view to encouraging commercial-scale sites by the mid-2020s.”

> Read the RSPB's announcement