The OES-Environmental 2020 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World builds on and serves as an update and a complement to the 2013 Final Report for Phase 1 of OES-Environmental and the 2016 State of the Science Report. Its content reflects the most current and pertinent published information about interactions of marine renewable energy (MRE) devices and associated infrastructure with the animals and habitats that make up the marine environment. It has been developed and reviewed by over 60 international experts and scientists from around the world as part of an ongoing effort supported by the OES collaboration that operates within the International Technology Cooperation Framework of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The 2020 State of the Science Report consists of 14 chapters which can be downloaded as a whole or individually. Download Chapter 12: Adaptive Management Related to Marine Renewable Energy here. Download the Chapter 12 Supplementary Material here.
The potential impacts of MRE development on marine animals, habitats, and the environment remain uncertain. Adaptive management (AM) has the potential to support the sustainable development of the MRE industry by enabling projects to be deployed incrementally despite uncertainty and to assist in closing knowledge gaps through rigorous monitoring and review. AM is an iterative process, also referred to as “learning by doing,” that seeks to reduce scientific uncertainty and improve management through periodic review of decisions in response to the knowledge gained from monitoring. AM offers a complementary approach to the precautionary principle and an opportunity to learn from monitoring and mitigation programs. Successful adoption of AM requires that monitoring approaches be question-driven, with the questions directly connected to thresholds/triggers to avoid unacceptable impacts. However, few of these thresholds are currently available within MRE regulatory processes. In addition, implementation guidance is needed to support a common understanding of AM and guide the design of AM plans for commercial development of MRE arrays.
AM has been used to guide the implementation of MRE monitoring programs. If information from routine monitoring shows that the level of an effect or change is likely to cause an unacceptable impact, corrective actions can be taken. Conversely, if monitoring information indicates that risks have been overestimated, monitoring and mitigation requirements may be reduced in subsequent management decisions. To date, AM approaches have primarily been implemented to reduce uncertainty surrounding the nearfield effects of single or limited numbers of MRE devices. As the industry moves toward commercial development of MRE arrays, AM may be useful in evaluating changes in response to installation and operation of multiple devices.
The Short Science Summary for the chapter is available here.