In February 2021, a group from MASTS, Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewables (EIMR) and Marine Scotland began exploring options for a joint event on marine energy science and policy development.
The original concept was to bridge the gap between events that each group would normally arrange ‘in person’ and the virtual world in which we were all currently existing. Encouraged by the online support and experience available from MASTS, a steering group decided to arrange a workshop. In order to straddle our interests, the starting point was the capacity of the North Sea to deliver renewable energy. We wanted to include emerging science and the timing of the review of Scotland’s National Marine Plan provided an excellent context.
We sought to deliver a wide range of content but encourage participant conversation. We aimed for a range of speakers delivering 7-minute recorded talks. Talks included findings from funded research, ongoing projects, and some emerging thinking across the science policy interface for marine planning. Marine energy was interpreted in the widest of senses, but the main focus was on offshore wind in UK waters, with particular detail about Scotland.
The talks were themed as follows:
- The scientific route to marine renewable energy in 2050 chaired by Ian Davies (Marine Scotland)
- The marine renewable energy governance landscape to 2050 and the role of policy Lucy Greenhill (Howell Marine Consulting)
The recorded talks were interspaced with 4 Q&As
Two breakout sessions had participants randomly allocated into one of 7 groups. Each group had a facilitator and a scribe. Questions for discussion were developed by the steering group based on the confirmed talk topics and designed to engage participants with the themes highlighted in the presentations (recorded talks).
One question was used in both breakout sessions: Rights and industrialisation of the seas v climate emergency and SDGs? It was recognised as an unexplored area that would justify extended discussion. A supplementary question: By 2050 what is success for our seas is it: economic, communities and environment? This was discussed by some of the groups and was reflected in a poll question for the participants.
This report is an overview of Passport to the Oceans of the Future: Delivering marine energy with science linked to policy. A joint workshop organised by MASTS Marine Planning and Governance Forum, EIMR and Marine Scotland, 27th May 2021. In particular, it captures the discussions in the breakout sessions. The scribes did an excellent job in providing this and each has adopted their own style. This includes verbatim notes of discussions, summary boxes and provision of additional information.