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 Framework.
The analysis and GIS mapping has been undertaken in five steps, designed to consider and apply a range of siting criteria for marine renewable energy devices within Welsh TWs. As a component of this, the GIS also provides spatial mapping of existing socio-economic uses and environmental interests and the potential constraint on consent associated with such. These steps have been termed the ‘Approach to Sustainable Development’ with an overall aim of enabling the potential energy resource available in areas of different levels of constraint to be assessed to provide an evidence base for determining the sustainability of different levels of wave and tidal stream power generation from Welsh TWs.
The Approach to Sustainable Development Report presents the final outputs of the Marine Renewable Energy Strategic Framework (MRESF). The MRESF will be an essential management tool for the sustainable development of wave and tidal energy in Wales.