Marine Renewable Energy: Benefits and Effects
Technologies that harvest energy from the movement of water in oceans and large rivers are under development around the world. Marine renewable energy (MRE) devices are designed to take advantage of tidal currents, fast flowing rivers, and waves, as well as ocean currents and natural gradients of temperature and salinity in ocean waters. The potential benefits that MRE can bring to nations and stakeholders are driving research studies, development of engineering systems, and experimental deployments of wave energy converters, as well as tidal and river turbines, in coastal areas. These studies, trials, and experiments are the leading edge of the development of an international MRE industry that is adding to the renewable energy portfolio of many nations. As this development occurs, it is essential that MRE projects not harm valuable and often fragile marine populations, habitats, and systems in the oceans. The responsible development of the MRE industry is informed by science-based understanding of the potential effects of MRE installations worldwide.
This Short Science Summary was developed based on the OES-Environmental 2020 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World, specifically Chapter 1: Marine Renewable Energy and Ocean Energy Systems and Chapter 2: Marine Renewable Energy: Environmental Effects and Monitoring Strategies.