Understanding and Informing Permitting Decisions for Tidal Energy Development Using an Adaptive Management Framework
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy offers a promising new source of renewable ocean energy. However, the young industry is faced with significant challenges. Most notable is the challenge of regulatory uncertainty that is thought to hamper the successful deployment of new tidal energy technologies. Adaptive management may be one approach to deal with uncertainty and inform permitting decisions for hydrokinetic projects. In this study, we apply the concept of adaptive management to the Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project in Maine to better understand and inform permitting decisions. Using a social science approach of observation, interviews, and document analysis, we examine (1) agency roles and authority, (2) agency interactions, (3) regulatory change, and (4) challenges faced in the regulatory and permitting process for MHK development at the federal and state level. We found four institutional factors favorable to an adaptive approach. These include experimentation and learning, institutionalized choice to correct avoidable error, a strong commitment to interagency coordination, and an emphasis on early proactive engagement with project developers. We also identified institutional challenges or vulnerabilities. These include conflicting agency cultures, high financial costs, and long timeframes associated with baseline data collection. Lessons learned from this study can assist regulators, policymakers, and project developers design and implement an actively adaptive management approach that can move new renewable ocean energy development forward in a way that is socially acceptable and environmentally responsible.
- Anderson, F., G. Achterman, S. Padula, and M. Harte. 2007. A programmatic approach to wave energy planning: Opportunities for the Oregon Wave Energy Trust. Proceedings of Coastal Zone 07 Portland Oregon (July 22–26, 2007).
- Bedard, R., M. Previsic, G. Hagerman, B. Polagye, W. Musial, J. Klure, A. von Jouanne, U. Mathur, C. Collar, C. Hopper, and S. Amsden. 2007. North American ocean energy status- March 2007. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Tidal Power (TP); Volume 8, 2007.
- Boehlert, G.W., and A.B. Gill. 2010. Environmental and ecological effects of ocean renewable energy development: a current synthesis. Oceanography 23(2): 68–81. CrossRef
- Bornholdt, M. 2012. Ocean renewable energy from a national perspective. Danvers, MA: Energy Ocean Conference 2012. June 19–21, 2012.
- Brooks, D.A. 2004. Modeling tidal circulation and exchange in Cobscook Bay, Maine. Northeastern Naturalist 11(2): 23–50. CrossRef
- Cada, G., J. Ahlgrimm, M. Bahleda, T. Bigford, S.D. Stavrakas, D. Hall, R. Moursund, and M. Sale. 2007. Potential impacts of hydrokinetic and wave energy conversion technologies on aquatic environments. Fisheries 32: 174–181. CrossRef
- Cada, G.F., A.E. Copping, and J. Roberts. 2012. Ocean/tidal/stream power: Identifying how marine and hydrokinetic devices affect aquatic environments. Hyrdoworld.com [Accessed June 10, 2012].
- Campbell, H.V. 2009/2010. A rising tide: Wave energy in the United States and Scotland. Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal 2(2): 29–48.
- EPRI. 2005. Ocean tidal and wave energy, renewable energy technical assessment guide—TAG-RE (2005). Palo Alto, CA: Electric Power Research Institute. 2005. 1010489.
- FERC. 2008. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Licensing Hydrokinetic Pilot Projects http://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/geninfo/licensing/hydrokinetics/pdf/white_paper.pdf (issued April 14, 2008.
- FERC. 2012. Ocean Renewable Power Company: Order issuing pilot project license Minor Project), Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy Project Project No. 12711–005 (February 27, 2012).
- Glaser, B.G., and A.L. Strauss. 1967. The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Chicago, IL: Aldine.
- Goundar, J.N., and M.R. Ahmed. 2013. Design of a horizontal axis tidal current turbine. Applied Energy 111: 161–174. CrossRef
- Griset, T.J. 2010. Harnessing the ocean's power: opportunities in renewable ocean energy resources. Ocean and Coastal Law Journal 16(2): 151–190.
- Gunderson, L. 1999. Resilience, flexibility, adaptive management – antidotes for spurious certitude? Conservation Ecology 3(1): 7. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol3/iis1/art7.
- Halbert, C.L. 1993. How adaptive is adaptive management? Implementing adaptive management in Washington State and British Columbia. Reviews in Fisheries Science 1(3): 261–283. CrossRef
- Holling, C.S. 1978. Adaptive environmental assessment and management. London, UK: John Wiley.
- Jacobson, M.Z., and C.L. Archer. 2012. Saturation wind power potential and its implications for wind energy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109(39): 15679–15684. CrossRef
- Johnson, B.L. 1999. Introduction to the special feature: Adaptive management – scientifically sound, socially challenged? Conservation Ecology 3(1): 10. [online] URL: http://www.conecol.org/vol3/iis1/art10/.
- Konnert, T. 2010. The role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in authorizing hydrokinetic technology projects. Oceanography 23(2): 54–59. CrossRef
- Leary, D., and M. Esteban. 2009. Climate change and renewable energy from the ocean and tides: calming the sea of regulatory uncertainty. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 24: 617–651. CrossRef
- Lee, K.N. 1993. Compass and gyroscope: integrating science and politics for the environment. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
- Marvel, K., B. Kravitz, and K. Caldeira. 2013. Geophysical limits to global wind power. Nature Climate Change 3: 118–121. CrossRef
- Merriam, S.B. 2009. Qualitative research: a guide to design and implementation. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.
- Ocean Energy Task Force (OETF). 2009. Final report of the Ocean Energy Task Force to Governor John E. Baldacci. Augusta, Maine. www.maine.gov/spo/specialprojects/OETF/Documents/finalreport_123109.pdf [Accessed May 24, 2012].
- Oram, C., and C. Marriott. 2010. Using adaptive management to resolve uncertainties for wave and tidal energy projects. Oceanography 23(2): 92–97. CrossRef
- Pelc, R., and R.M. Fujita. 2002. Renewable energy from the ocean. Marine Policy 26: 471–479. CrossRef
- Strauss, A.C., and J.M. Corbin. 1990. Basics of qualitative research: grounded theory procedures and techniques. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- United States Federal Regulatory Commission and State of Maine. 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (August 2009), http://www.ferc.gov/legal/maj-ord-reg/mou/mou-ma.pdf.
- Viehman, H., G.B. Zydlewski. 2012b. Fish interactions with a commercial-scale tidal energy device in the natural environment. Estuaries and Coasts. (THIS ISSUE).
- Viehman, H., G.B. Zydlewski, J.D. McCleave, G. Staines. 2012a. Using acoustics to understand fish presence and vertical distribution in a tidally dynamic region targeted for energy extraction. Estuaries and Coasts. (THIS ISSUE).
- Walters, C.J. 1986. Adaptive management of renewable resources. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
- Walters, C.J., and C.S. Holling. 1990. Large-scale management experiments and learning by doing. Ecology 71(6): 2060–2068. CrossRef
- Wellinghoff, J., J. Pederson, and D.L. Morenoff. 2008. Facilitating hydrokinetic energy development through regulatory innovation. Energy Law Journal 29: 397–42.
- Understanding and Informing Permitting Decisions for Tidal Energy Development Using an Adaptive Management Framework
Estuaries and Coasts
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Tidal power
- Marine hydrokinetic technology
- Adaptive management
- Permitting decisions
- Renewable ocean energy