Sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Seattle, Washington, USA
March 22-25, 2010
As tidal energy development is still in its early stages, there have not been sufficient data collected to predict the effects that pilot- and commercial-scale tidal projects will have on the marine environment. Until such data exist, the most promising method to address priorities for regulatory and research attention is to rely on the expertise and judgment of scientists and engineers with experience in various aspects of the technology, biota and habitats, and appropriate analogue industries. This workshop was designed to bring together that expertise from several nations and to address environmental effects through a structured process. As data become available to describe these effects in the future, the judgments and uncertainties recorded in this report can be replaced with better predictions and lower uncertainty.
The workshop followed the successful model used to address the environmental effects of wave energy development, held in 2007 in Newport, Oregon (described in Boehlert et al. 2008). It focused on building capabilities to evaluate the environmental effects of tidal energy from turbines placed in the water column throughout the U.S. The workshop did not address policy issues, details of technology engineering, or the socioeconomic impacts of tidal energy development; however separate meetings to address these topics were among the recommended next steps to come out of the workshop.
Tidal Energy Workshop Report