Tethys Stories

Tethys Stories feature information on news, events, research, and projects relevant to wind and marine renewable energy development activities across the globe. Stories are contributed from individuals working in the field, and provide insight into advancing the energy industry in an environmentally responsible manner. If you are interested in providing content to be featured as a Tethys Story, please email jonathan.whiting@pnnl.gov.

Posted By: Andrea Copping & Trina Blake On: July 02, 2015 | 0 Comments
The third annual Marine Energy Technology Symposium (METS) was held in Washington D.C., US April 27-29, 2015, in conjunction with the International Marine Renewable Energy Conference (IMREC) and the National Hydropower Association. IMREC and METS brought together scientific and engineering experts, technology developers, policy makers, and regulators from the US and beyond to focus on marine renewable energy technologies, environmental effects, and facilitating advancement of the industry worldwide.   METS provides a venue for scientists and engineers to share and discuss current research... Read More
Posted By: Nikki Sather On: March 20, 2015 | 0 Comments
The European Commission’s competitive Horizon 2020 programme has awarded €1.4 million to fund the Risk-based Consenting of Offshore Renewable Energy (RiCORE) project. Comprised of a team of experts from Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France and Scotland, the eighteen month project will examine ways to accelerate and streamline the environmental requirements associated with consents for offshore wind, wave, and tidal projects.   Issues surrounding consenting and evaluating potential environmental impacts are considered critical barriers to the deployment of offshore energy. “Offshore energy... Read More
Posted By: Kelly Ruehl, Chris Chartrand, and Jesse Roberts On: February 23, 2015 | 1 Comments
As interest has grown in developing a range of low carbon renewables, harnessing the vast energy from ocean waves has become desirable. Although few arrays of wave energy converters (WECs) have been deployed worldwide, planning for wave farms requires that we understand the maximum amount of energy that can be extracted from waves, while ensuring that environmental responsibilities are met. Numerical models allow us to simulate arrangements of WECs to minimize harm to the environment, while optimizing the production of power, without incurring the enormous costs of deploying WECs in coastal... Read More
Posted By: Cameron McNatt and Michele Martini On: October 03, 2014 | 0 Comments
Last May, a rural village in the Picos de Europa Mountains was inundated by offshore renewable energy knowledge. As part of the annual INORE Symposium, 60 to 70 early-stage researchers from around the globe and with a variety of backgrounds descended on La Vega, Spain, (regular population of about 160), to share their knowledge, learn from others, network, have fun, and leave inspired. These next-generation professionals will have formed bonds that will lead to future collaborations and lifetime colleagues and friends.     What is INORE? The International Network on Offshore Renewable Energy... Read More
Posted By: Anne Marie O'Hagan On: September 05, 2014 | 0 Comments
The beautifully scenic Cork Harbour in the south of Ireland has several geographical and historical claims to fame. It is the second largest natural harbour in the world, in the 1700s it was home to the largest butter market in the world and at the beginning of the twentieth century it was the last stopping point for the Titanic before its ill-fated trip across the Atlantic. For hundreds of thousands of Irish emigrants it was the site of their last moments on their home soil as they set sail in search of a new life to America, Australia, New Zealand and India. The idea of Cork Harbour as a... Read More
Posted By: Molly Grear On: August 22, 2014 | 0 Comments
Plans to pin offshore wind turbines to the seafloor in the Atlantic Ocean have raised questions about potential risks to commercial shipping traffic, as vessels maneuver around the installations. To address this potential risk, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) scientists have developed an assessment of navigation safety risks, with support from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), working closely with BOEM and the US Coast Guard (USCG).   PNNL scientists worked with the very large set of Automated Identification System (AIS) data for shipping in the US. They extracted... Read More
Posted By: Molly Grear On: August 08, 2014 | 0 Comments
A recent article in Current Biology entitled Marine mammals trace anthropogenic structures at sea highlights how marine mammals may interact with offshore windfarms.  As new larger scale installations become more common, research of this kind will support observations of in situ array-scale impacts of windfarms.  A team of scientists, headed by Deborah Russell of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), tracked tagged harbor seals and grey seals near two wind farms in the North Sea: Sheringham Shoal, with 88 3.6 MW turbines, is located in the south-east United Kingdom; and Alpha Ventus, with 12 5... Read More
Posted By: Andrea Copping On: July 26, 2014 | 0 Comments
As wave and tidal devices are deployed in coastal waters and estuaries in countries around the world, there is intense interest in understanding how marine mammals, sea birds, fish, and sea turtles may interact with the machines underwater.  Will animals be at risk from rotating tidal turbine blades? Will they be attracted to the foundations, anchors, and devices? Will they sense the mooring lines and avoid them?  All these questions have prompted researchers to explore effective methods for viewing interactions between animals and a variety of tidal and wave energy generating devices. Active... Read More
Posted By: Alicia Gorton On: June 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
Currently, Europe is the world-leader in offshore wind energy developments, with the first offshore wind farm installed in Denmark in 1991. Since then, offshore wind energy projects in Europe have been supplying significant amounts of power to European grids, with the United Kingdom having the largest capacity of offshore wind farms, and Denmark and Belgium ranking second and third, respectively. To date, the US does not operate any offshore wind turbines in US coastal waters, yet there are several offshore wind farms in development. To that end, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind and... Read More
Posted By: Molly Grear On: May 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
Siting and permitting/consenting tidal turbines and wave energy converters is a major challenge to the marine energy industry, as many people envision harm coming to marine animals. With many marine mammals holding endangered species status, this issue can adversely impact the public acceptance of marine renewable energy. Researchers in Scotland are developing methods to examine interactions, and to place the risk in a reasonable context. On May 19th, Annex IV, an initiative of IEA Ocean Energy Systems, held a webinar focused on current research in Scotland examining the interactions between... Read More


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