The Marine Renewable Energy Strategic Framework project has investigated the potential marine renewable energy resource of Welsh Territorial Waters (TWs) and considered potential scenarios for the sustainable development of that resource primarily as an aid to policy development and also an indicator of resource for potential developers. The project has been undertaken by RPS Group in three stages, starting in 2007 with Stage 1, which was focused on the initial literature reviews, data gathering, stakeholder engagement and GIS mapping. Stage 2 was conducted primarily in 2009-2010 and involved a number of discrete reports, each aimed at increasing the knowledge base for a number of key data gaps in Welsh TWs identified as part of Stage 1. Stage 3 has drawn on the findings of Stages 1 and 2 to develop the Marine Renewable Energy Strategic Framework: Approach to Sustainable Development.
This section of Stage 3 provides a review of policy context for sustainable marine renewable development. In order to achieve "a sustainable, innovative and productive economy", the UK Government, Scottish Executive, Welsh Assembly Government and Northern Ireland Administration have agreed on a set of five shared principles for sustainable development and four priority areas for immediate action. They are as follows:
- Sustainable Consumption and Production,
- Climate Change and Energy,
- Natural Resource Protection and Environmental Enhancement, and
- Sustainable Communities.