Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Perception of Threats in Offshore Windfarms and Possible Countermeasures

Babette Tecklenburga, Alexander Gabrielb and Frank Sill Torresc

Department for Resilience of Maritime Systems, Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany.


In 2021 a change in legislations lead to new definition of Critical Infrastructure (CI). The threshold value has been lowered. This means that almost all German offshore wind farms (OWFs) belong to the CI, which leads to increased requirements for operators with regard to the security of the facilities and the provision of their core services. This paper aims to determine how the perception of the implemented measures compared to the perceived threats are. Therefore an interview guideline has been developed and conducted with 23 participants, who work in different positions in the German offshore wind industry. With the interviews a list of received threats and risks could be developed. The most mentioned threat is severe weather/ natural hazards. Furthermore, implemented countermeasures in the OWFs could be determined. The countermeasures were examined with regard to two aspects. Firstly, it was determined whether the measure was safety or security focused. Secondly, the type of action (preventive or reactive) was determined. Interesting to see is that more safety risks than security threats are mentioned by the interview participants. But equally safety and security countermeasures are stated. It seems like that passive countermeasures play a major role for the protection of offshore CI than active countermeasures.

Keywords: Offshore windfarms, Guideline-based interviews, Maritime, Critical infrastructure, Threats, Countermeasures.

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