Annex IV distributes metadata forms (questionnaires) to solicit information from researchers around the world who are exploring the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. This page provides a description and contact information related to the research. Content is updated on an annual basis.

Acoustic Impact Assessment of Offshore Energy Project

Research Study Annex IV

Title: Acoustic Impact Assessment of Offshore Energy Project
Start Date:
January 01, 2009
Research End Date:
December 01, 2013
Technology Type:
Info Updated:
December 06, 2016
Study Status: 
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Laurent Richier

Address: Technopole Brest Iroise Site du Vernis - 300 rue Pierre Rivoalon, 29200 Brest - France

Phone: +33 (0)2 98 05 43 21


Project Description: 

A methodology called SIRAEO has been developed by Altran Ouest and Maree to assess the impact on marine environment of offshore renewable energy projects. This basically includes site description, in-situ measurements of noise, numerical simulation of noise propagation and environmental impact assessment.


This methodology has been applied to the Paimpol-Brehat tidal test site (in-situ measurements), to the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm (complete approach), and to different zones of the French call for tenders for offshore wind farms.

Funding Source: 

Mainly internal R&D investment + some contracts for private companies

Location of Research: 

The French Atlantic coasts

Project Aims: 

Set up and experience a methodology for developing underwater acoustical impact studies

Key Findings: 

Ambient and Turbine Noise:


Good quality noise measurements are very delicate to obtain. Specific instrumentations/procedures are necessary and extra care must be taken in the post processing of the data and characterization of the different phenomena recorded. It is recommended to perform measurements on a long period to characterize ambient noise properly and at different locations to determine the turbine signature properly.


Numerical Simulation


The site characteristics play a major role in such shallow water environments. The generic spherical/cylindrical laws can’t be applied anymore in these contexts as significant differences could appear depending on e.g. bottom characteristics or water depth.


Marine mammal Sensibility:


Different methodologies have been proposed to assess impacts but none seems to have the approval of the entire scientific community. Thus, the most conservative approach has most of the time been considered.

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