The project aims to design, build and validate a generic high performance, cost-efficient and reliable PTO that can be integrated into oscillating wave surge converter (OWSC) designs and therefore massively deployed by the global energy sector. Environmental and socioeconomic aspects will be studied by WavEC through Life Cycle Assessment performances and the development of an EIA decision making tool.
European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
1. To develop a standard method for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for wave energy projects.
2. Performance of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to support decision making through a comparative analysis between different designs.
WP2: Design - Task 2.5 – Environmental and socio-economic acceptance
An LCA was carried out for an early design of the device, proving the results are aligned with all previous studies on MRE technologies in concluding the main environmental impacts are due to materials use and manufacture, while Assembly & Installation and O&M do not show significant impacts. The impact of manufacture is mainly due to high amounts of material used, particularly steel. End-of-Life stage is currently excluded from operational boundaries of the majority of MRE developments and its inclusion in eco-design initiatives is challenged by uncertainties on a temporal, technological and business level such as uncertainties regarding recycling ratios. Additionally, this report corroborated with previous LCAs on ocean energies by proving the importance of the End-of-Life scenario to the overall environmental performance and highlighted the need for further efforts to better understand how to model this stage.
A methodology for an EIA tool currently under development has been elaborated under this task. In order to incorporate information on device specificities and the natural sensitiveness of a site, a literature review was carried out including identification of impacts in similar nearshore installations on available EIA reports. The EIA tool aims to help the user decide on best monitoring techniques across all development phases through a stressor-receptor interaction approach. For each phase, identification of these interactions, or potential key effects, will result in impact matrixes – for biological, physical and socioeconomic receptors. After the identification of the most relevant key effects, the tool will recommend on best mitigation measures and monitoring techniques.
Publications will soon be available at: https://www.sintef.no/projectweb/megaroller/