This deliverable provides a summary of key knowledge gaps regarding the potential environmental effects of wave and tidal energy development and an overview of consenting risks relevant to the sectors.
This deliverable is informed by a number of key existing resources, such as ORJIP Ocean Energy’s Forward Look and OES Annex IV’s State of the Science report, which highlight knowledge gaps relevant to the consenting and licensing of marine energy projects.
ORJIP Ocean Energy published the third iteration of its ‘Forward Look’ document in November 2017. This included a prioritised list of strategic research projects to address key issues raised through the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)/ Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) processes and set out the purpose, required timing and broad scope of the research projects necessary to meet ORJIP Ocean Energy’s overall aim.
The aim of ORJIP Ocean Energy is to ensure that the principal EIA and HRA consenting risks for early array deployments in the wave and tidal sectors are addressed by facilitating a strategic, coordinated and prioritised approach to monitoring and research which is endorsed by industry, regulators and Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs).
This deliverable will update the ‘Forward Look’ to contribute to the overall objectives of the SEA Wave Project which are to:
- Undertake a comprehensive review of all existing data collected for the sector;
- To address long term environmental concerns around the development of the marine renewable industry’s emerging technology.
The aim of this deliverable is to present an up to date, validated and prioritised summary of the knowledge gaps and consenting risks for wave and tidal energy projects. The objectives of this deliverable are to:
- Issue a Call for Evidence to the SEA Wave Partners, SEA Wave Steering Group and ORJIP Ocean Energy Network;
- Use the responses to the Call for Evidence to ensure the knowledge gaps and consenting risks are up to date.
The overall impact of this Work Package will be:
- A consensus on the priority knowledge gaps and consenting issues upon which coordinated strategic data collection and research efforts should focus on in the SEA Wave project and across the sector, ensuring improved efficiencies in the allocation of resources and distribution of effort.
- An established European Network of stakeholders and end users engaged in better understanding the potential impacts of wave developments and improving the consenting process.
- Refinement of the consenting processes for ocean energy deployments, helping to reduce costs and the time spent in achieving consent.
- Environmental monitoring strategies designed to address the key consenting risks of wave energy projects that will be implemented during the project.
In compiling the list of key consenting issues and risks for the wave and tidal sector, a comprehensive review of the industry’s and academia’s understanding regarding the potential environmental impacts associated with marine energy has been undertaken in line with the objectives of ORJIP Ocean Energy and SEA Wave.
Ongoing work in environmental monitoring has been reviewed to explore if any identified knowledge gaps are actively being addressed, in order to prevent the duplication of work.
This deliverable within WP2 will improve understanding of where research should be focused and prioritised. It includes a summary of the current understanding regarding the potential environmental impacts, uncertainties and consenting risks currently facing the ocean energy industry. This includes a gap analysis to assess where research effort should be focused to address the knowledge gaps and uncertainties that exist for consenting and licensing. Prioritisation is to be given to knowledge gaps providing an industry framework for overcoming current uncertainties. Identified knowledge gaps have been validated with regulators, developers and researchers and other stakeholders through the project Steering Group in addition to the project partners and the ORJIP OE Network.