The Ocean Energy Joint Programme (JP) of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) was launched in May 2011. The JP aims to develop coordinated European research that will underpin the development of the emerging marine renewable energy (MRE) sector (which includes wave and tidal current energy). The JP has five principal objectives:
- Contribute to strategic leadership of the underpinning research;
- Joint prioritization of research tasks and infrastructure;
- Alignment of European and national research efforts;
- Coordination with industry;
- and Sharing of knowledge and research infrastructure.
The Ocean Energy JP is based around six key research themes:
- Devices and Technology;
- Deployment and Operations;
- Environmental Impact;
- Socio-economic Impact;
- and Research Infrastructure, Education and Training.
As initial activities for the JP, each of these six key research themes will hold a workshop before the end of 2011 to bring together the experts working in the field from across the JP partners across Europe. This will act as a catalyst, providing a forum and a mechanism for the valuable collaboration and coordination which is at the heart of the EERA and which underpins all of the objectives of the Ocean Energy JP. This Environmental Impact workshop is the fourth of these six research theme workshops, and has been hosted by France (who has been designated as the coordinator of the Environmental Impact research theme).
At the outset of the Ocean Energy JP, a number of sub-topics have been identified as key long term research objectives within each of the six key research themes. For the Environmental Impact, these are:
- Physical impacts;
- Biological impacts;
- and Monitoring and Measurement to support consenting.