As governments from the local to national level have recognized the need to integrate renewable sources into their energy portfolios, there has been a recent push to harness diverse sources of ocean energy, including those generated by tides and waves. Despite the potential benefits, development of these marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) resources has raised concerns in terms of their potential socioeconomic and environmental impacts. An ecosystem services perspective offers a useful means of monitoring how MHKs will affect both people and nature by enabling the identification of the benefits provided by functioning ecosystems to people, including biodiversity, tourism and recreation, and food provision. To illustrate the value of this approach in evaluating the potential impacts of an MHK project, we present the case study of the Muskeget Channel Tidal Energy Project (United States) and identify the types of data and analytical tools that could be used to develop an ecosystem service assessment of MHK development in this study region. To complement this case study, we also reviewed the published literature on tidal energy and other MHK project types, which highlighted how little is known about the ecological effects of MHK development in coastal and marine ecosystems. Integrating ecosystem service knowledge into projects like Muskeget Channel can contribute to more scientifically informed MHK siting processes and more effective, ecosystem-based management of the diverse human activities undertaken in coastal and marine environments.
Examining the Impacts of Tidal Energy Capture from an Ecosystem Services Perspective
Title: Examining the Impacts of Tidal Energy Capture from an Ecosystem Services Perspective
January 01, 2015
Journal: Marine Technology Society Journal
Publisher: Marine Technology Society
Leslie, H.; Palmer, M. (2015). Examining the Impacts of Tidal Energy Capture from an Ecosystem Services Perspective. Marine Technology Society Journal, 49(1), 97-114.