Currently, the marine renewable energy (MRE) industry is struggling with high costs of baseline environmental assessments and post-installation monitoring, as well as long timelines for obtaining permits, leading to uncertainty and risk for financing projects. One solution to overcome such barriers and help advance the MRE industry could be the ability to transfer learning, analyses, and datasets among countries, projects, and across jurisdictional boundaries. Encouraging transfer of data between projects can help satisfy regulatory requirements, amplify understanding of environmental effects of MRE devices, and lead to standardized processes for data collection and analysis. Key to enabling the transfer of data among projects is ensuring that the regulators and advisers are engaged and willing to help implement a process for sharing data.
In 2017, the Annex IV team engaged US regulators through online webinars, and carried out a survey to understand the state of regulator knowledge and preferences for permitting MRE developments. Based on these exchanges, progress can be made by: 1) disseminating information of MRE interactions with the marine environment; 2) conducting new research for outstanding questions of environmental effects; 3) making a case that data transfer can occur with confidence, including developing a set of best practices for data transferability and to ensure data collection consistency.
This paper will present the findings of the survey and other engagements with regulators, provide insight into the process of data transferability, and seek to engage the research community in furthering this process.