Annex IV issues State of the Science Report 2016 draft


The report summarizes the state of the science of interactions and effects of marine renewable energy (MRE) devices on the marine environment, the animals that live there, and the habitats that support them.

As single device deployments continue and development of the first commercial arrays is on the horizon, several critical interactions between MRE devices and marine animals continue to concern regulators and stakeholders: collision, underwater sound, and electromagnetic fields.

“The risks associated with many interactions continue to be driven by uncertainty; these risks need to be better understood and managed, as they are for other established offshore industries. The interactions that are shown to not cause harm to the marine environment need to be “retired,” allowing research and monitoring efforts to focus on the highest priority interactions,” it is stated in the report.

The report considers turbines and WECs only, and it was produced by the Annex IV Initiative, under the Ocean Energy Systems (OES) collaboration.

Thirteen OES countries have joined together to assess the potential environmental effects of MRE development, and to learn collectively how to address potential effects that hamper siting and consenting/permitting of devices, to facilitate the establishment of the MRE industry.

The State of the Science report is prepared particularly for a broad audience including resource managers, policy makers, marine renewable energy developers, researchers, and students.

The information gathered and analyzed for this report can help inform regulatory and research investigations of potential risks to marine animals and habitats from tidal and wave installations, and can assist MRE developers in developing engineering, siting, operational strategies, and monitoring options for projects that minimize encounters with marine animals and/or diminish the effects if such encounters occur.

The State of the Science Report 2016 draft is open for public review. The public is encouraged to send the comments by March 18, 2016.