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Ocean Energy

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The Palgrave Handbook of Global Sustainability


Ocean energy is one of several viable alternatives for generating electricity in coastal regions. Given that the world’s coasts represent <15% of the planet’s continental surface, with half of the world’s cities of over 100,000 inhabitants found here, ocean energy is particularly attractive. Indeed, the potential population that could benefit from Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) is substantial. Harvesting energy can take place using the movement of water through waves, currents, tides, and through differences in temperature and salinity. Various MRE technologies are being developed and tested around the world: some are floating devices, others are submerged or anchored to the seabed. Along with the development of new technologies, the impacts of MRE on the environment should be monitored, mitigated, and kept at a minimum to reduce risk-related uncertainties. At the same time, it is vital to consider the perception of these new technologies and their acceptance locally before installing the devices. This chapter examines ocean energy from different viewpoints. First, a brief description of how different ocean energy devices work is given. There follows a revision of the potential environmental impacts these devices may have. In the third section the need to evaluate the social perception and acceptance of the new technologies regarding the possibility of installing MRE devices is highlighted. The chapter ends with a brief description of how MRE may help in the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.

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Correspondence to M. Luisa Martínez .

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Martínez, M.L., Chávez, V., De la Cruz, V., Pérez-Maqueo, O., Wojtarowski, A., Silva, R. (2022). Ocean Energy. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Global Sustainability. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-38948-2

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