As part of the current initiative to assist with developing a coordinated approach to addressing the key strategic EIA/HRA issues associated with wave and tidal stream arrays (under, for example, an Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) for wave and tide), Aquatera Limited was commissioned by The Crown Estate to undertake a short, focused consultancy project; ‘Consolidation of wave and tidal EIA/HRA issues and research priorities’.
This report, produced by Aquatera Ltd, has been informed by an extensive consultation process including a workshop hosted by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) which was attended by over 50 participants. The consultation process, which also included a Call for Evidence at the outset, has included regulators, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs), developers, researchers and other stakeholders from across the UK and internationally. Therefore, the results presented within this report are considered to represent a consensus as to the key EIA/HRA issues and the current research gaps and priorities relevant to the wave and tidal sectors.
Project aims and objectives
The key driver for this project was the recognition of the benefits of a coordinated effort to obtain, translate and share learning, knowledge, experience, information and data from single device and particularly first array projects to larger array deployments. It is considered that a coordinated approach will ensure that the best possible information is available to developers, regulators, SNCBs and other stakeholders to inform the consenting process and project planning and design activities. As such, the main aims of this project are to:
- Produce a consolidated up-to-date list identifying the key strategic EIA/HRA issues facing the wave and tidal stream sectors
- Identify the priority research gaps relevant to wave and tidal stream demonstration scale arrays and then outline potential approaches to address them
- Identify strategic research priorities which could be addressed through a coordinated programme
It is intended that the outputs from this project, by guiding future research work, will assist with resolving the priority EIA/HRA issues relevant to wave and tidal stream arrays. It will do this by focusing any coordinated approach to research that is developed (e.g. via ORJIP Wave and Tide). However, it should be noted that the priorities identified in this project are not only relevant to any coordinated research programme but also to any research which individual developers, regulators/advisors, academic institutions etc. may plan to undertake.