Ocean energy and the environment: Research and strategic actions
The new report from ETIP Ocean, Ocean energy and the environment: Research and strategic actions, identifies the key environmental research needs and consenting challenges that require action at an EU and national level, to facilitate the roll out of ocean energy.
The report shows that to date, there is no evidence of ocean energy installations posing a serious risk to marine ecosystems. As more machines are put in the water, more real-world observations and long-term monitoring will be needed in order to assess the reality of perceived risks.
Cautious approaches to risk assessment hamper consenting of ocean energy projects. An analysis of the consenting processes and marine spatial planning in Europe reveals that the main challenges are long and burdensome consenting processes, requirements for extensive monitoring data, and the absence of dedicated legislation for ocean energy.
To improve consenting of ocean energy projects, the report proposes a concrete Strategic Action Plan with four actions:
1. Provide financial support for research and monitoring
2. Simplify and shorten consenting processes for ocean energy
3. Create single points of contact at national level
4. Set up a platform for developers to share experience on consenting