Wave and tidal energy devices extract energy from the environment. This extraction is bound to have effects at different levels, from the physical to the biological, which are the subject of this chapter. This chapter deals with the physical effects of marine renewable energy (MRE) on the environment: the effects of wave farms on the wave field and coastal processes, and those of tidal stream farms on the hydrodynamics and sediment transport processes. It considers the impacts of MRE on the marine biota, focusing on the environmental impact assessment that must form part of any MRE project. The chapter summarises the work carried out to date on hydrodynamics and sediment transport. It also deals with the effects on the marine biota, combined with those of wave farms. As far as concerns MRE projects, an evaluation of the sensitivity of the site with regard to both environmental and socioeconomic issues, should be carried out during the initial stage of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) process.
This is a chapter from Wave and Tidal Energy.