This report outlines a coordinated action plan aimed at reducing the scientific uncertainty associated with collision risk of marine animals and tidal turbines. This plan includes steps to take toward resolving the challenging issue of decreasing scientific uncertainty, but is unlikely to completely solve the problem. The content of this report was derived from the involvement of experts during a workshop held in Edinburgh, Scotland in February 2016.
This plan is intended to help stakeholders work together to accelerate consenting/permitting of commercially viable tidal arrays by implementing a proportionate and risk-based approach to consenting/permitting and reducing uncertainty around the risks to marine animals from colliding with tidal turbines. It was informed by the workshop held in Edinburgh, UK in February 2016, and hosted by OES Annex IV, the Ocean Renewable Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) Ocean Energy, the University of Highlands and Islands (UHI), Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Marine Scotland, and Offshore Renewable Energy CATAPULT (Appendix A).
The objectives of this plan are as follows:
- Build consensus around the priority collision risk issues, as they relate to consenting/permitting.
- Identify key issues that are slowing the permitting process for all scales of tidal energy projects, including those that relate to policy support, delays in regulatory processes, availability of appropriate monitoring equipment, the need for clear specification of methods for obtaining monitoring data, and the best use of predictive modelling.
- Identify potential solutions for addressing these challenges.
- Provide a coordinated action plan for addressing these challenges that assigns actions to the regulatory, research, and development sectors. The intention is for these actions to be monitored and updated to ascertain whether progress is being made, and to highlight where changes or increased effort need to be placed, if progress is insufficient.