Planning and Management Frameworks for Renewable Ocean Energy



Renewable ocean energy has huge potential to contribute to addressing both climate change and energy security concerns. To realise this potential, it is necessary to have planning and management frameworks that facilitate development of commercial-scale marine renewable energy farms, which harvest offshore wind, wave, and tidal energy. The primary focus of this chapter is ocean energy, namely wave and tidal sources. Currently, consenting and legal processes are often cited as a barrier to efficient and expedient deployment of devices in many locations internationally. This can create high levels of “regulatory risk” which can, in turn, have detrimental consequences for project development timelines and budgets as well as wider negative influence on project investors and financiers. Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is a relatively new approach to analysing and allocating parts of marine spaces for specific uses or objectives in order to achieve ecological, economic, and social objectives. MSP does not always result in ocean zoning but instead involves integrated approaches to prioritising uses and activities. As a process, MSP is ecosystem-based, integrated, adaptive, strategic, and participatory—stakeholders are actively engaged in the process. It does not replace single-sector planning or management, but it has a number of advantages that may benefit the development of the renewable ocean energy sector. It can provide greater certainty to the private sector in planning new investments and should reduce conflicts between incompatible users and activities. It should also promote more efficient use of marine resources and space, indicate opportunities for coexistence of activities, and facilitate the implementation of a streamlined permitting process for marine activities. This chapter outlines the planning and management frameworks in place for renewable ocean energy in countries that collaborate through the International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems Technology Collaboration Programme around the world. A particular emphasis is placed on MSP and how it influences the planning of energy activities currently or how it will influence future ocean energy activity. Implementation of MSP varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and can take many different forms. This chapter provides an overview of how the requirements of the ocean energy sector are taken into account when designing marine planning systems, how scientific information is reflected in the process, and the tools used to implement MSP. It also identifies how possible or currently experienced conflicts between different sectors or users are managed. The chapter concludes with a section on the key factors that limit implementation of MSP.


Environmental Impact Assessment Offshore Wind Exclusive Economic Zone Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Offshore Wind Farm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author would like to thank the international IEA-OES Annex IV Participant Country Representatives for taking the time to complete the questionnaire and garnering additional input from their colleagues. This material is based on work supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) through MaREI, the SFI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy (12/RC/2302). The support of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is also acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MaREI Centre, Environmental Research InstituteUniversity College CorkCountry CorkIreland

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