The Strategic Environmental Assessment of Wave energy technologies (SEAWave) project aims to address long term environmental concerns around the development of the marine renewable industry’s emerging technology.
The potential environmental impacts that can be associated with the marine energy sector are generally site specific making it difficult to draw conclusions about a specific receptor or impact pathway. SEAWave will undertake a gap analysis to address the lack of knowledge regarding the potential environmental impacts associated with deploying wave and tidal energy convertors in the marine environment.
Building on the bespoke environmental research campaigns undertaken on Wello Oy’s Penguin WEC, SEAWave will incorporate future environmental monitoring campaigns on. This will be one of the first targeted, multi-WEC ecological sampling campaigns adopting a rigorous experimental approach to address some of the remaining uncertainties that exist for WECs in offshore environments.
Monitoring campaigns will be developed through a gap analysis approach but are expected to involve the use of non-destructive towed underwater video systems (TUVS) and baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) to analyse habitat composition and species assemblages around the deployment locations. Marine acoustic sensors will be used to assess fish distribution and abundance near the devices and gain an understanding of fish attraction to infrastructure.
The data collected will be analysed and disseminated through established European networks of stakeholders and end users engaged in better understanding the potential impacts of wave energy developments and refining the burdensome consenting process.
The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) has been set-up by the European Commission to manage on its behalf several EU programmes in the fields of SME support and innovation, environment, climate action, energy and maritime affairs. EASME provides funding for the fishing industry and coastal communities through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
This project is co-funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) of the European Union.
Location of Research
UK, Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Belgium, and Sweden.
The primary aim of SEAWave is to undertake one of the first targeted multi-WEC ecological sampling campaigns adopting a rigorous experimental approach to address some of the remaining uncertainties that exist for WECs in offshore environments. This will be achieved through the following actions:
- Delivering a comprehensive environmental impact data review
- Impact model framework developed and validated
- Data dissemination derived through EU and international portals
- Environmental engineering design improvements
- Cutting edge data analytics implemented
- Strategic research carried out by the academic partners
- Streamlined planning and consenting procedures
These actions are further structured into the following work packages:
- WP1: Project Management
- WP2: Gap analysis and monitoring plan
- WP3: Data collection and analysis
- WP4: Modelling and validation
- WP5: Strategic recommendations
- WP6: Communication and dissemination
The findings will provide the evidence-base required for regulatory bodies to adopt a risk-based consenting process and support developers secure future multi-device consents. The overall outcome will address a number of challenges set out in the EU Ocean Energy Forum Roadmap and help the European Commission deliver policies to support sustainable ocean energy developments across Europe.
The SEAWave consortium came together in December 2018 for the project launch.
In March 2020, the online platform MARENDATA was launched in collaboration by the SEAWave and WESE (Wave Energy in Southern Europe) projects to disseminate environmental monitoring data collected within the marine energy industry. MARENDATA will host a range of compiled data collected from marine energy test sites, including EMEC, BiMEP in the Basque Country, and Peniche in Portugal. Data acquired from the former SOWFIA (Streamlining of Ocean Wave Farm Impacts Assessment) project has been amalgamated with the data collected through SEAWave and WESE and will also be uploaded to MARENDATA.