The principal focus of the MASTS Marine Renewable Energy Forum will be the interactions between renewable energy production development and its operations with the marine environment. The focus will include an understanding that marine renewable energy has a duel role in mitigating climate change and enhancing energy security. Therefore interactions explored will be within an ecosystem approach framework to provide transparency in the trade-offs between renewable energy delivery and environmental change. This approach will require increased collaboration between ecologist, biologist, engineers, oceanographers, social scientists and economist as well as awareness across the science community of the end uses of this new knowledge in marine spatial planning, licensing and monitoring programmes.
Renewable Energy development in Scotland is entering in a new era and that is one of post demonstration projects. Developments are now moving from single devices to multiple initial subsets of arrays with the ambitions to expand to large-scale arrays in a few years’ time. What is essential for that transition is strategic and joined up approaches across academic, statutory and industry partners to assist in targeted multidisciplinary research to answer the current critical uncertainties that still remain in terms of potential direct interactions such as collision risks and barrier effects.
What is also imminently needed is the design of strategic, hypothesis-led monitoring programmes for the longer term that address key constraining aspects of impact assessments. We must develop scientifically robust approaches to potential cumulative and more indirect ecosystem scale effects to deal with ecosystem level issues when we reach much larger scales of development across wind, wave and tidal industries. This proactive and strategic approach will be linked across MASTS Forums and Themes as ultimately we are all striving for the goal of clean, healthy, bio-diverse and productive seas at a level of good environmental status. In order to make the most efficient use of future large-scale data collection we need the definition of standardised methods and well-housed, transparent shared data-bases which will require the continuation and building of close collaborations between the developers, regulators and scientists.
Drs Masden and Miller, will take on the leadership of the Forum.
ScotMER evidence maps – Marine Scotland has worked with industry, environmental NGOs, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, and other interested stakeholders, to map out the gaps in knowledge when assessing the environmental and socio-economic impacts of offshore renewable developments. Find out more.
Forum Co-Convenors: Dr Elizabeth Masden & Dr Raeanne Miller
Steering Group: Beth Scott (Aberdeen University), Ben Wilson (UHI); Francesca Marubini (Hartley Anderson); Jared Wilson (MSS); Cameron Johnstone (ETP), George Lees (SNH), Jennifer Fox & Ian Hutchison (ORJIP), Gordon Hastie (St Andrews), Andrew Want (Heriot Watt) and Encarni Medina-Lopez (INORE and Edinburgh University)
The Tethys Engineering Photo Library hosts photos and illustrations of marine renewable energy devices, arrays, and facilities that have been graciously provided by several developers and are available for free third party use. Be sure to take a look through the library for images for your next presentation!
We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a suite of useful, and updateable, resources including:
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