Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter addressing the organisational aspects of the OES. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the collaborative activities in which the Executive Committee (ExCo) was involved during the year. The work within OES is structured in a number of projects, known as “Annexes”, which have well defined objectives, budgets, and time frames. The status reports of the ongoing Annexes are presented in Chapter 3:
- Annex I - Review, Exchange and Dissemination of Information on Ocean Energy Systems
- Annex IV - Assessment of Environmental Effects and Monitoring Efforts for Ocean Wave, Tidal and Current Energy Systems
- Annex V - Exchange and Assessment of Ocean Energy Device Project Information and Experience
This chapter also presents an important activity, the “International Vision Brochure”, developed during the year. Projects which were already concluded (Annex II and annex III) are summarised in the Appendix 4.
As in previous years, it is also the aim of the Annual Report for the year 2011 to inform about the international situation on ocean energy. For this purpose, each Executive Committee member provides an overview of national activities. Therefore, in Chapter 4 you can find information from each country member on:
- Strategy and national targets;
- Support initiatives and market stimulation incentives;
- Main public funding mechanisms;
- Relevant legislation and regulation;
- Publications relevant to the ocean energy (OE) sector;
- Overview of government funded Research & Development (R&D);
- Examples of collaborative international projects conducted by each country;
- Operational ocean energy projects;
- New developments on ocean energy.
Since 2008, the Annual Report has included a special section dedicated to articles prepared by invited experts addressing a specific theme. The Annual Reports of previous years presented the following themes, which can be found on the website (https://www.ocean-energy-systems.org/):
- Current status of ocean energy technologies (2008);
- Key technical and non-technical challenges that ocean energy faces and actions that are and could be taken to promote and accelerate deployment of ocean energy (2009);
- Key facilitators for ocean energy (2010).
This year, the theme is “Marine Spatial Planning and Ocean Energy” and 4 articles are presented in Chapter 5. Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) can prove to be a valuable process to explore and develop ocean-based renewable energy.
In the article “Marine Spatial Planning: An Idea Whose Time Has Come”, Charles Ehler, consultant to the Marine Spatial Planning Initiative of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, gives a very comprehensive explanation about Marine Spatial Planning, why it is needed and what are the key elements. The article points out that the principal output of MSP is a comprehensive spatial management plan for a marine area or ecosystem and, as mentioned by the author, the plan moves the whole system toward a “vision for the future”. Where are we today? Where do we want to be? How do we get there? What have we accomplished? These simple questions are answered by MSP. The author concludes by stating that while ocean energy has not been a principal driver of MSP so far, the situation is likely to change over the next two decades.
The second article entitled “Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) in the European Union and its application to marine renewable energy” focus on the European Union (EU) context. Anne Marie O’Hagan, a Charles Parsons Research Fellow from Hydraulics & Maritime Research Centre (HMRC), Ireland, outlines the policy basis for MSP in the EU, the principles for a common European approach and the status of MSP in individual Member States. Inclusion of marine renewable energy requirements in MSP depends on the status of the industry in each country. Therefore, different approaches and examples from a few countries are discussed. Also, key considerations for inclusion of marine renewable in MSP are mentioned. One conclusion is that MSP will have significant implications for the development of marine renewables, in general, and for the ocean energy sector, in particular. On the other hand, policy developments are likely to influence the future development and functioning of MSP. These aspects are discussed in the article.
Over the last four years, Oregon, led by the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), has worked to address, in particular, this marine management challenge by updating the State’s existing Territorial Sea Plan (TSP) to include considerations on best locations for future wave energy development. “Siting Wave Energy on the Oregon Coast: The Oregon Territorial Sea Plan and Siting Analysis Tools” is the third article by Simon Geerlofs, from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as first author, with collaboration from the Oregon Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Energy. The article describes how the relationship between MSP and ocean energy siting has been explored.
Oregon plan is seen as an example to encourage wave energy developers to test and locate devices in Oregon waters. On the other hand, the difficulty and time frames to obtain licenses for deployment and operation of ocean energy projects is presently perceived as the major threat to efficient implementation of this renewable energy (RE) source. In the forth article ‘Mountains of “Blue Tape” Are Barriers to United States and New Zealand Marine Renewable Energy Projects’, Ian Boisvert addresses the obstacles faced by developers to get the necessary approvals for testing a device in the sea by comparing the complex regulatory regimes in New Zealand and the United States. The author points out the need to streamline the permits process, in which difficulties are mainly created by bureaucratic unfamiliarity with marine energy projects and their environmental effects.