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Focus Area: Offshore Renewable Energy

There is growing interest in renewable energy technologies: they are cleaner and more sustainable than fossil fuels; they can be developed throughout the United States; and from the economic standpoint, can create much needed jobs in the skilled labor sector. This web page highlights recent information about offshore renewable energy sources, including offshore wind and marine and hydrokinetic power (e.g., wave, tidal, current, and ocean thermal energy).

Navigate to the desired sub-topic with the green headings below. Then, within a sub-topic, you can "mouse over" a bold item and click the highlighted field to see more information about the link, document or resource. Please let us know of additional resources that we should include here and alert us to broken links, etc.

Overview
News & Press Releases
Conferences and Webinars
Energy Supply
Technical Issues
Economics
Environmental Considerations
Policy
Federal Offshore Renewable Energy Resources
Offshore Renewable Energy Organizations and Research Centers
State and Regional Resources
Renewable Energy Periodicals
Miscellaneous Resources


Overview

Ocean Energy Systems 2015 Annual Report

Resource type: Report

Description: Each year, the United States contributes a chapter into the Ocean Energy Systems Annual Report, which is released by the International Energy Agency. The 2015 report contains updates from 19 countries on four different continents and notes achievements in the marine hydrokinetic field over the last year, while providing an outlook for the near- and long-term future of the industry. The 2015 report also outlines regulatory and market incentives, research and development highlights, and current updates on technology demonstration projects and planned deployments.

Reference: Ana Brito e Melo and José Luis Villate (2016). Ocean Energy Systems Annual Report 2016. The Executive Committee of Ocean Energy Systems; Lisbon, Portugal. pp. 138.

Link: https://report2015.ocean-energy-systems.org/

 

Offshore Wind Hub Offers Updated Listings for Atlantic Coast States

Resource type: Webpage

Description: The Offshore Wind Hub provides open access to documents related to offshore wind policy, technology, economics, and siting. The listings for all Atlantic Coast states from Maine to Georgia have been updated. Users can search the database for documents by state, topic, or key words.

Link: http://www.offshorewindhub.org/

Wave and tidal current energy – A review of the current state of research beyond technology

Resource type: Research article

Description: The oceans of the earth offer vast amounts of renewable energy. Technologies to harness the power of the seas are at an early stage of development. Even the most advances technologies, namely tidal current and ocean wave still face considerable barriers and many obstacles remain. Research, development and innovation can help overcome those barriers. This review provides an overview over the current state of research in the field of ocean energy. In particular, the authors focus on research beyond technology or technological improvements. This article also highlights areas where research gaps exists and where future research efforts should be directed to.

Reference: Uihlein, Andreas and Davide Magagna (2016). Wave and tidal current energy – A review of the current state of research beyond technology. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 58: 1070 – 1081.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032115016676

Review and Forecast: Advancing Ocean Renewable Energy in the United States

Resource type: Online article

Description: This article outlines the U.S. Energy Department's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office’s role in advancing the development of energy technologies that harness the nation's ocean renewable energy, including offshore wind, wave, tidal and ocean current resources.

Reference: Jose Zayas (2014). Review and Forecast: Advancing Ocean Renewable Energy in the United States. Sea Technology Magazine (January 2014).

Link: http://www.sea-technology.com/features/2014/0114/1.php#top

Wind Technology Resource Center

Resource type: Website

Description: The Wind Technology Resource Center (WTRC) provides a central repository for research reports, publications, data sets, and online tools developed by DOE’s national laboratories and facilities. These information resources detail wind-energy-related analyses, studies, technology design, tests, and field experiments conducted by the labs from 1980 to the present. The WTRC offers a variety of ways for users to browse resources, including by topic, technology, application, and state, or search based on keywords. Visitors to the resource center can begin their search with a keyword and continue narrowing the field using a host of filters on the results page. In addition to R&D topics, technology, application, and state, users can filter by organization and resource type to create a highly tailored list.

Link: https://www4.eere.energy.gov/wind/resource_center/

Global Review of Recent Ocean Energy Activities

Resource type: Research paper

Description: Ocean energy is regarded as an important future source of energy generation in many countries for transition to a low-carbon future. While commercial interest in ocean energy is growing significantly at a global level, there are considerable investment costs and bottlenecks that will need to be overcome. Research and funds are spread over many different wave and marine current energy concepts under development, and there is still no technology convergence. This article focuses on the latest developments and projects in ocean energy - in particular, open-sea testing facilities set up by several countries as a measure to encourage deployment and streamlining procedures. In addition, the article highlights the importance of collaborative research and development on ocean energy projects and the unique role of the Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement as an intergovernmental organization promoting the use of ocean energy (wave, marine currents, tidal, ocean thermal gradients and salinity gradients) for energy extraction.

Reference: Global Review of Recent Ocean Energy Activities (2013). Ana Brito Melo, Eoin Sweeney, and Jose Luis Villate; Marine Technology Society Journal 47(5): 97.

Link: http://www.dialytics.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/melo_mts_2013.pdf

Offshore Wind Energy: Considerations for Georgia

Resource type: White paper

Description: This white paper, written by the GCRC in response to a request from the GA Dept. of Natural Resources - Coastal Resources Division, provides background about offshore wind energy, with a specific focus on its potential development in Georgia coastal waters. It includes an introduction to the use of offshore wind as a renewable energy source, an overview of the components of a wind installation, a discussion of factors that are considered in siting a wind facility, the environmental considerations associated with such a project, and planning tools and ongoing offshore wind energy initiatives.

Reference: Laporte, C. and M. Alber. 2011. Offshore Wind Energy: Considerations for Georgia. Prepared by the Georgia Coastal Research Council, for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division. 41 pages.

Links: http://www.gcrc.uga.edu/PDFs/ExecSumm_OffshoreWindEnergy.pdf (Executive summary)

http://www.gcrc.uga.edu/PDFs/GCRC_GA_OffshoreWind.pdf (Full report)

Water Power for a Clean Energy Future

Resource type: Brochure

Description: This document describes some of the accomplishments of the Department of Energy’s Water Power Program, and how those accomplishments are supporting the advancement of renewable energy generated using hydropower technologies and marine and hydrokinetic technologies.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/wp_accomplishments_brochure.pdf

Offshore Renewable Energy Guide

Resource type: Webpage

Description: This Bureau of Ocean Energy Management website provides background information about ocean renewable energy resources, the Outer Continental Shelf, and alternate uses for oil and gas platforms. Offshore renewable energy resources include offshore wind and solar, and ocean wave and current energies.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Renewable-Energy-Guide/index.aspx

Offshore Wind Energy

Resource type: Webpage

Description: This site provides an introduction to offshore wind energy including: offshore wind energy resources; commercial offshore wind energy generation; offshore wind energy technology; transport of wind-generated energy; environmental considerations; and links to sources for further information.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Renewable-Energy-Guide/Offshore-Wind-Energy.aspx

Ocean Wave Energy

Resource type: Webpage

Description: Ocean wave energy is captured directly from surface waves or from pressure fluctuations below the ocean surface. This site provides an introduction to ocean wave energy including: ocean wave energy resource; ocean wave energy technologies; environmental considerations; and links to sources for further information.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Renewable-Energy-Guide/Ocean-Wave-Energy.aspx

Ocean Current Energy

Resource type: Webpage

Description: The relatively constant flow of ocean currents carries large amounts of water across the earth’s oceans. Technologies are being developed so that this energy can be extracted from ocean currents and converted to usable power. This site provides an introduction to ocean wave energy including: ocean current energy technologies; technical challenges; environmental considerations; and links to sources for further information.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Renewable-Energy-Guide/Ocean-Current-Energy.aspx

Offshore Solar Energy

Resource type: Webpage

Description: Solar energy technologies potentially suitable for use in ocean environments include concentrating solar power technology and photonic technology. This site provides an introduction to offshore solar energy including: solar energy technologies; concentrating solar power technology; solar photonic technology; and links to sources for further information.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/Renewable-Energy-Guide/Offshore-Solar-Energy.aspx

Ocean Energy Technology: Overview

Resource type: Report

Description: This report presents an overview of ocean energy technology as a source of renewable energy. It investigates ocean energy resources and new technologies under development to capture that energy. These technologies include: wave energy, tidal energy, marine current energy, and ocean thermal energy conversion. A brief history of the technologies is presented, as well as each technology’s commercial market development status. Benefits and barriers to research and development are also examined along with various devices currently being validated in the field.

Reference: Ocean Energy Technology: Overview (2009). Kari Burman and Andy Walker; Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Federal Energy Management Program DOE/GO-102009-2823.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/pdfs/44200.pdf

Water Power Program, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Resource type: Federal agency program

Description: The Water Power Program, part of the EERE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, researches, tests, evaluates, and develops innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective electricity from water resources. This includes hydropower, as well as marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies, which capture energy from waves as well as riverine, tidal, and ocean currents. EERE's work in water power technologies includes: marine and hydrokinetic technologies which convert the movement of water in waves and currents into electricity; and marine and hydrokinetic resource assessment and characterization which analyze ocean energy potential for future electricity production.

Link: http://www.eere.energy.gov/topics/water.html

Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Resources

Resource type: Website

Description: This website explains how marine and hydrokinetic technologies work and highlights some of EERE’s Water Power Program's efforts in research and development in this area. The website also has links to where marine and hydrokinetic technology research and testing is being done across the country and about key terms for marine and hydrokinetic technology.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/marine_hydro_resources.html

Offshore Renewable Energy Research and Development

Resource type: Factsheet

Description: National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s wind and water power research and development efforts include: design review and analysis (e.g. offshore wind, marine, and hydrokinetic modeling); device and component testing; resource characterization; economic modeling and analysis; and grid integration.

Reference: Offshore Renewable Energy Research and Development (2012). National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; NREL/FS-5000-54659.

Link: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/54659.pdf

An Overview of Ocean Renewable Energy Technologies

Resource type: Research article

Description: (Abstract) Ocean energy is a term used to describe renewable energy derived from the sea, including ocean wave energy, tidal and open-ocean current energy (sometimes called marine hydrokinetic energy), tidal barrages, offshore wind energy, and ocean thermal and salinity gradient energy. This paper highlights the technology development status of various energy conversion technologies.

Reference: Overview of Ocean Renewable Energy Technologies (2010). R. Bedard, P.T. Jacobson, M. Previsic, W. Musial, and R. Varley. Oceanography. Vol. 23(2):22-31; NREL Report No. JA-500-48850.

Link: http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/23-2_bedard.pdf

Global Status and Critical Developments in Ocean Energy

Resource type: Report

Description: This report compiles five Ocean Energy System (OES) sponsored articles together into a single volume as a reference source, which records the recent developments in ocean energy in OES countries. The OES is an intergovernmental collaboration between 20 member countries (as of Feb 2013) with the purpose of advancing research, development and demonstration of conversion technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources, such as tides, waves, currents, temperature gradient (ocean thermal energy conversion and submarine geothermal energy) and salinity gradient for electricity generation, as well as for other uses, such as desalination, through international cooperation and information exchange.

Reference: Global Status and Critical Developments in Ocean Energy (2013). J. Huckerby and A. Britoe Melo (eds). The Executive Committee of Ocean Energy Systems.

Link: http://www.ocean-energy-systems.org/news/new_oes_report_global_status_and_critical_developments_in_ocean_energy/

News

The First Tidal Generator in North America Is Now Online

Resource type: Online article

Description: The first tidal generator in North America went online this November in the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, which has the largest tides in the world, and is expected to generate enough electricity to power 500 homes.

Reference: Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, Nov 23, 2016

Link: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a24027/first-tidal-generator-north-america-online/

Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float

Resource type: Online article

Description: As clean-energy engineers seek to make offshore wind farms more financially, aesthetically and environmentally viable, they are turning to floating supports to enable wind turbines to move into deeper waters farther from the coast. Floating turbines, with anchors, would mean new flexibility in where wind farms could be placed, with potentially less impact on marine life — and less opposition from the human neighbors on shore.

Reference: Diane Cardwell (2016). Inside Climate News (September 29, 2016)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/business/energy-environment/offshore-wind-farms-see-promise-in-platforms-that-f.html?_r=1&utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=3158fc58e9-Clean_Economy_Wire12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-3158fc58e9-327744333

Offshore Wind Hub Offers Updated Listings for Atlantic Coast States

Resource type: Webpage

Description: The Offshore Wind Hub provides open access to documents related to offshore wind policy, technology, economics, and siting. The listings for all Atlantic Coast states from Maine to Georgia have been updated. Users can search the database for documents by state, topic, or key words.

Link: http://www.offshorewindhub.org/

The Future of Energy Is Blowing in the Wind: A Look at America's First Offshore Wind Farm

Resource type: Online article

Description: In a recent Popular Science article, Mary Beth Griggs explores the first offshore wind farm in America, the newly constructed 30-megawatt Block Island Wind Farm. Among the experts interviewed is Walt Musial, offshore wind manager at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The article notes that in terms of offshore wind installations, the United States lags behind Europe and Asia. Musial responds, "It's never too late. When you look at the resource area, offshore wind is adjacent to some of the largest population centers in the country and the largest electricity loads in the country. It may be very convenient to bring that power in."

Reference: The Future of Energy is Blowing in the Wind: A Look at America's First Offshore Wind Farm (2016). Mary Beth Griggs. Popular Science (September 6, 2016).

Link: http://www.popsci.com/future-energy-is-blowing-in-wind

Energy Department Announces Up to $40 Million for an Open-water Wave Energy Test Site

Resource type: Press release (August 16, 2016)

Description: The Energy Department on August 16 announced up to $40 million in available funding to support the site selection, design, permitting, and construction of a national open-water, wave energy testing facility within U.S. federal or state waters. The Department anticipates the facility will contain at least three berths to simultaneously and independently test wave energy devices. The testing facility will gather critical performance data to address technical risks, lower costs, and inform future designs to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of wave energy technologies in the United States.

The project selected for funding will construct an open-water, grid-connected, fully energetic domestic wave test facility to support the full-scale testing of wave energy devices. It will address the challenges that the ocean environment poses for wave energy systems, which must operate in often harsh and unpredictable conditions for years.

Recent studies found that America's technically recoverable wave energy resource is estimated to range from approximately 900 to 1,230 terawatt hours per year, distributed across the coast of Alaska, the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. For context, approximately 90,000 homes can be powered by 1 terawatt hour per year. This means that even if only 5% of the potential is recovered, millions of homes could be powered by wave energy as the technology matures.

Link: http://energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-department-announces-40-million-open-water-wave-energy-test-site

Scotland Waves Hello to the World’s First Tidal Power Farm

Resource type: Online article

Description: "The first of what will eventually become 269 turbines is currently being transported to the area, known as the Pentland Firth, for installation. Each turbine is 15 meters tall and weighs 200 metric tons, with eight-meter-long blades. Initially four turbines will be installed at the site, with the rest being added incrementally between now and the early 2020s to create something that will resemble a submerged version of a wind farm. The site was chosen because of its particularly strong tides, with currents that can move at up to five meters per second. Those waters will help each turbine produce 1.5 megawatts of power, adding up to a total of 398 megawatts—enough to power 175,000 homes—when the farm is complete."

Reference: Jamie Condliffe (2016). Scotland Waves Hello to the World’s First Tidal Power Farm; Technology Review (September 13, 2016)

Link: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602360/scotland-waves-hello-to-the-worlds-first-tidal-power-farm/?utm_source=OpenChannels+Community+Members&utm_campaign=83ac08776e-Weekly_Update_09_16_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_96f5655e1e-83ac08776e-107971817

Department of Interior Announces Milestone for New York Offshore Commercial Wind Energy

Resource type: Press Release (June 2, 2016)

Description: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has announced the proposed lease sale for 81,130 acres offshore New York for commercial wind energy leasing. The proposed lease area, approximately 11 miles south of Long Island, is identical to the New York Wind Energy Area, which Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) identified earlier this year in consultation with members of its New York Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force. This task force includes federal, state, tribal, and local government partners. In addition, BOEM considered information gathered through outreach with stakeholders. BOEM will host a public seminar in late June or July in New York City to describe the auction format, explain the auction rules, and demonstrate the auction process. It will be followed by a public meeting on BOEM's planning and leasing efforts regarding New York offshore wind energy activities. The time, venue, and related materials for the seminar and public meeting will be posted online. BOEM will also hold four public meetings in June to offer additional opportunities for public comments. All information regarding New York activities will be posted online. To date, BOEM has awarded 11 commercial offshore wind leases, including nine through the competitive lease sale process (two offshore New Jersey, two in an area offshore Rhode Island-Massachusetts, another two offshore Massachusetts, two offshore Maryland and one offshore Virginia). These lease sales have generated approximately $16 million in winning bids for more than a million acres in federal waters.

Link: https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/interior-announces-milestone-new-york-offshore-commercial-wind-energy

Energy Department Awards More Than $20 Million for Wave and Tidal Energy Projects

Resource type: Press release (August 30, 2016)

Description: The Energy Department on August 30 announced 10 organizations selected to receive more than $20 million in funding for new research, development, and demonstration projects that advance and monitor marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy systems, which generate electricity from ocean waves and tidal currents. These projects will aim to improve the performance of MHK systems and advance environmental monitoring technologies that will help protect wildlife and reduce uncertainty regarding potential environmental impacts.

Three demonstration projects will integrate next-generation MHK hardware and software technologies into system designs. Their effectiveness will be tested during full-scale, open-water deployments over one year. For example, Dresser-Rand of Wellsville, New York, will integrate a 1-megawatt air-turbine power system into a wave energy device—demonstrating and validating it during a year-long deployment proposed to occur off the coast of Oregon.

The seven selected environmental projects will help reduce the time and cost associated with required environmental monitoring. These projects will improve, test, and validate cost reductions in environmental monitoring equipment that will give industry a deeper understanding of interactions between MHK systems and the marine environment. In one, BioSonics of Seattle, Washington, will develop an active acoustic monitoring system to automatically detect and locate wildlife at ranges between 200 and 300 meters, as well as track wildlife near MHK devices in three dimensions.

Link: http://energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-department-awards-more-20-million-wave-and-tidal-energy-projects

EERE Success Story: Open-Source Testing Reaches New Milestone for Wave Energy

Resource type: Press release (April 8, 2016)

Description: Ocean wave energy is a developing next-generation technology. Wave energy converters are important for renewable energy development because the wave energy resource in the United States is substantial, and co-located with a large percentage of the population.

Sandia National Laboratories successfully led and completed Phase 1 of wave tank testing of the Floating Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter (FOSWEC) in the Hinsdale Directional Wave Basin. Successful completion of Phase 1 testing is a huge milestone because it required the cooperation of a large team of people across the country to design and construct a novel wave energy converter—with state-of-the-art instrumentation—characterize the FOSWEC’s mass properties, and run system identification tests in the wave basin. Results from Phase 1 testing are being used to validate the Wave Energy Converter SIMulator (WEC-Sim) numerical code, and findings from these tests are being used to iterate and improve the device for Phase 2.

Device performance for wave energy converters relies heavily on numerical modeling. Numerical models are used for design optimization, a very important phase in the design process because understanding a WEC’s dynamics and power performance is critical to achieving successful open-ocean deployments. Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory jointly developed and released the WEC-Sim open-source numerical code in summer 2013.

Link: http://energy.gov/eere/success-stories/articles/eere-success-story-open-source-testing-reaches-new-milestone-wave

Energy Department Announces $22 Million for Marine Energy Demonstration and Environmental Monitoring Technology Projects

Resource type: Press release (March 2, 2016)

Description: The Energy Department announced a $22 million funding opportunity for new research, development, and demonstration projects to advance marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy systems that generate electricity from waves, tides, and currents and to improve environmental monitoring technologies that will help minimize environmental impacts. The funding will support projects that reduce the cost of electricity from MHK systems and help protect the marine environment, thus increasing sustainable electricity generation from ocean and river energy resources.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy expects to fund up to 10 projects that address technology development and demonstration, as well as market acceleration and deployment. Specifically, the funding opportunity will support projects that:

    1. Integrate next-generation MHK hardware and software technologies into existing wave and current energy conversion systems and demonstrate improved systems in full-scale, open-water tests for a one-year period; and
          
2. Design, test, and validate environmental monitoring technologies that quantify the impacts of MHK systems in marine settings, such as acoustics, electromagnetic fields created by MHK devices and subsea cables, and interactions between these devices and marine animals.

For more information, read the full opportunity at the Energy Department’s Funding Opportunity Exchange website

Link: http://energy.gov/eere/articles/energy-department-announces-22-million-marine-energy-demonstration-and-environmental

Harnessing wave energy to light up coastal communities

Resource type: Online article (February 8, 2016)

Description: Oscilla Power develops a wave energy converter sturdy enough for the ocean, practical enough for the grid.

Reference: Science Nation Online Magazine, National Science Foundation

Link: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/oscillawave.jsp?WT.mc_id=USNSF_51

World’s largest offshore windfarm to be built off Yorkshire Coast

Resource type: Online article

Description: DONG Energy is given the go-ahead for a 1.2-gigawatt project that will power more than a million UK homes.

Reference: Fiona Harvey (2016). World's largest offshore windfarm to be built off Yorkshire coast. The Guardian (February 3, 2016).  

Link: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/03/worlds-largest-offshore-windfarm-to-be-built-off-yorkshire-coast

Conferences and Webinars

Energy Department's Wind Industry Update: A WINDExchange Webinar

Resource type: Webinar

Description: The United States ranks second in the world for wind power capacity and remains first in the world for electricity generated from wind power, according to the 2015 Wind Technologies Market Report released by the Energy Department and its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Total installed wind power capacity from turbines rated at more than 100 kilowatts in the United States grew at an impressive rate of 12% in 2015 and stands at nearly 74 gigawatts, meeting an estimated 5.6% of U.S. end-use electricity demand in an average year. The nearly 8.6 gigawatts of capacity installed during 2015—representing more new deployment than any other electricity source—is a 77% increase over total installations in 2014. The report also finds that wind energy continues to be sold at attractive prices through power purchase agreements, making this renewable energy source fully cost-competitive with traditional power sources in many parts of the United States. In fact, wind generated a total of more than 190 million megawatt hours of electricity in 2015—enough to power more than 19 million average U.S. homes and save the equivalent of more than 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2015.

The report also illustrates how the U.S. wind industry has positively impacted the American workforce by currently supporting 88,000 jobs related to development, siting, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries—an increase of 15,000 jobs in 2015.

Audio and text versions of the webinar are available (MP4 49.5 MB). Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:53:40. Text VersionPDF.

Download the presentation: 2015 Wind Market Report PresentationPDF

Link: http://apps2.eere.energy.gov/wind/windexchange/filter_detail.asp?itemid=5776

Energy Department's Distributed Wind Industry Update: A WINDExchange Webinar

Resource type: Webinar

Description: Compared with traditional, centralized power plants, distributed wind energy installations supply power directly to homes, farms, schools, businesses, manufacturing facilities, and communities. Turbines used in these applications can range in size from a few hundred watts to several megawatts. The Energy Department and its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently published the 2015 Distributed Wind Market Report, which shows that U.S. wind turbines in distributed applications reached a cumulative installed capacity of more than 934 megawatts from approximately 75,000 turbines—enough to power more than 142,000 average American homes.

One segment of the distributed wind industry involves wind turbines deployed in the built environment: in, on, or near buildings. The built-environment wind turbine niche of the wind industry is still developing and is relatively less mature than the utility-scale wind or traditional distributed wind sectors. The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently published Deployment of Wind Turbines in the Built Environment: Risks, Lessons, and Recommended PracticesPDF, a report that investigates the current state of the BEWT industry by reviewing available literature on BEWT projects as well as interviewing project owners on their experiences deploying and operating the technology.

Audio and text versions of the webinar are available (MP4 38.8 MB). Download Windows Media Player. Time: 00:45:11. Text VersionPDF.

Download the presentations:
2015 Distributed Wind Market Report PresentationPDF
Built-Environment Report Summary for WINDExchangePDF

Link: http://eeredevapps2.nrel.gov/wind/windexchange/filter_detail.asp?itemid=5777

OWAP Webinar: Maine Offshore Wind Milestones

Resource type: Webinar

Description: This webinar was a presentation of the Offshore Wind Accelerator Project (OWAP). Guest speakers Jeff Thaler and Habib Dagher from the University of Maine presented an update on the milestones the University of Maine’s pilot-scale and demonstration offshore wind projects. They also discussed the University's next steps as it works on securing power purchase agreements and awaits a funding decision from the U.S. Department of Energy for its demonstration project off of Monhegan Island. 

Webinar Recording: Click Here (requires Windows Media Player)

Presentation slides: http://www.cesa.org/assets/Uploads/OWAP-Webinar-Slides-3.6.14.pdf

Energy Supply

Resource assessment for future generations of tidal-stream energy arrays

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] Tidal-stream energy devices currently require spring tide velocities (SV) in excess of 2.5 m/s and water depths in the range 25–50 m. The tidal-stream energy resource of the Irish Sea, a key strategic region for development, was analyzed using a 3D hydrodynamic model assuming existing, and potential future technology. Three computational grid resolutions and two boundary forcing products were used within model configuration, each being extensively validated. A limited resource (annual mean of 4 TJ within a 90 km2 extent) was calculated assuming current turbine technology, with limited scope for long-term sustainability of the industry. Analysis revealed that the resource could increase seven fold if technology were developed to efficiently harvest tidal-streams 20% lower than currently required (SV > 2 m/s) and be deployed in any water depths greater than 25 m. Moreover, there is considerable misalignment between the flood and ebb current directions, which may reduce the practical resource. An average error within the assumption of rectilinear flow was calculated to be 20°, but this error reduced to ∼3° if lower velocity or deeper water sites were included. We found resource estimation is sensitive to hydrodynamic model resolution, and finer spatial resolution (<500 m) is required for regional-scale resource assessment when considering future tidal-stream energy strategies.

Reference: Resource assessment for future generations of tidal-stream energy arrays (2015). M. Lewis, S.P. Neill, P.E. Robins, and M.R. Hashemi. Energy 83(1): 403–415.

Link: http://www.openchannels.org/sites/default/files/literature/Resource%20assessment%20for%20future%20generations%20of%20tidal-stream%20energy%20arrays.pdf

Characterizing the spatial and temporal variability of the tidal-stream energy resource over the northwest European shelf seas

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] As devices move from full-scale prototype to commercial installations, it is important that developers have detailed knowledge of the tidal energy resource. Therefore, the spatial distribution of the tidal currents over the northwest European shelf seas has been examined to improve understanding of the tidal-stream energy resource. Using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model (ROMS) at ∼1 km spatial resolution, and applying device characteristics of the Seagen-S turbine, we show that the ratio of the amplitudes of the M2 and S2 tidal currents can lead to significant variability in annual practical power generation – variability that is not accounted for when considering only the mean peak spring tidal velocities, as is generally the case in resource feasibility studies. In addition, we show that diurnal inequalities (governed by K1 and O1 tidal constituents) and tidal asymmetries (governed by the relationship between M2 and its compound tide M4) over the northwest European shelf seas can further affect power generation at potential high-energy sites. Based on these variabilities, the spatial distribution of the tidal-stream ‘capacity factor’ has been calculated. We find that mean peak spring tidal velocities can under-estimate the resource by up to 25%, and that annual practical power generation can vary by ∼15% for regions experiencing similar mean peak spring tidal velocities, due to the influence of other tidal constituents. Therefore, even preliminary resource assessments should be based on annual average power density, rather than peak spring tidal velocity.

Reference: Characterizing the spatial and temporal variability of the tidal-stream energy resource over the northwest European shelf seas (2015). Peter E. Robins, Simon P. Neill, Matt J. Lewis, and Sophie L. Ward. Applied Energy 147: 510-522.

Link: http://www.openchannels.org/sites/default/files/literature/Characterising%20the%20spatial%20and%20temporal%20variability%20of%20the%20tidal-stream%20energy%20resource%20over%20the%20northwest%20European%20shelf%20seas.pdf

Resource Assessment and Data Collection Initiatives in the Southeast:

Summary Review of Research Efforts in Resource Assessment and Data Collection Pertaining to Wind Energy in the Southeast

Resource type: Report

Description: This document provides a list of researchers and summaries of their work as they pertain to resource assessment and data collection for wind energy in the Southeast. The goal of this document is to enable researchers to identify opportunities for collaboration that will increase the value of complementary efforts. The identified researchers and projects are broken into two categories, fundamental and applied science. These categories are then broken down further into subcategories.

Reference: Resource Assessment and Data Collection Initiatives in the Southeast (2014). Nate Pedder, Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition, Southeast Resource Assessment/Data Collection Workshop, July 24, 2014.

Link: http://www.secoastalwind.org/presentations/2014/Southeast_Resource_Assessment_and_Data_Collection_Initiatives_v1.pdf

Estimation of tidal power potential

Resource type: Research article

Description: (Abstract) Several approaches can be used for estimating tidal power potential. From a theoretical point of view, others have shown that the problem can be reduced to a single or multiple boundary problem with simple geometry where each case has a well-defined maximum power potential. From a practical point of view, the potential can be approximated from the ambient flow. Questions naturally arise whether the theoretical approach can be applied to a typical field-scale problem, and whether the practical approach has any validity. In order to provide more insight into these questions, form drag representing tidal turbines has been introduced into a numerical flow model. This is an unstructured grid model with an implicit treatment of wetting and drying that has been shown to be robust, accurate, and efficient for highly irregular coastal ocean environments and is well suited for this problem. The field site that has been examined is Minas Passage in the Bay of Fundy which provides an interesting practical perspective for this problem. In the end, only a fraction of the theoretical maximum power potential can be realized in practice because of physical constraints on the maximum form drag for tidal turbines.

Reference: Estimation of tidal power potential (2014). Roy A. Walters, Michael R. Tarbotton, and Clayton E. Hiles. Renewable Energy 51:255-262.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148112005988 

Ocean Thermal Extractable Energy Visualization

Resource type: Report

Description: (Abstract) The Ocean Thermal Extractable Energy Visualization (OTEEV) project focuses on assessing the maximum practicably extractable energy (MPEE) from the world’s ocean thermal resources. Using a comprehensive GIS dataset and software tool which the OTEEV team developed, the project leverages existing National Renewable Energy Laboratory renewable energy GIS technologies and integrates extractable energy estimates from quality-controlled data and projected optimal achievable energy conversion rates. Input data are synthesized from a broad range of existing in-situ measurements and numerical models with temporal and spatial resolutions sufficient to reflect the local resource. Energy production rates are calculated for regions based on conversion rates estimated for current technology, local energy density of the resource, and sustainable resource extraction. Plant spacing and maximum production rates are then estimated based on a default plant size and transmission mechanisms. The resulting data are organized, displayed, and accessed using a multi-layered GIS mapping tool with a user-friendly graphical user interface. Estimates of the extractable net power are 55,000 Terawatt hours per year globally with 4,600 of that total coming from within U.S. waters.

Reference: Ocean Thermal Extractable Energy Visualization (2012). Matthew Ascari (Project Lead), Howard P. Hanson, Lynn Rauchenstein, James Van Zwieten, Desikan Bharathan, Donna Heimiller, Nicholas Langle, George N. Scott, James Potemra, Eugene Jansen, and N. John Nagurny. Prepared for the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/1055457.pdf 

Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States - Final Project Report

Resource type: Assessment

Description: This project created a national database of tidal stream energy potential, as well as a GIS tool. Tidal currents are numerically modeled with the Regional Ocean Modeling System and calibrated with the available measurements of tidal current speed and water level surface. The database is published on an interactive website that includes tools to select, query and download the data. The results of the regional assessment show that Alaska contains the largest number of locations with considerably high kinetic power density, followed by, Maine, Washington, Oregon, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Reference: Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States - Final Project Report (2011). Kevin A. Haas, Hermann M. Fritz, Steven P. French, Brennan T. Smith, and Vincent Neary. Georgia Tech Research Corporation.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/1023527.pdf

Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource

Resource type: Assessment

Description: This project estimated the naturally available and technically recoverable U.S. wave energy resources, using a 51-month database developed especially for this study by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The assessment determined the total amount of available wave energy resource along the U.S. continental shelf edge, and broke this number into subtotals for the West Coast, the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Reference: Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource (2011). G. Hagerman and G. Scott. Prepared for the Electric Power Research Institute by Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/mappingandassessment.pdf

Ocean Renewable Energy's Potential Role in Supplying Future Electrical Energy Needs

Resource type: Research paper

Description: (Abstract) The world is facing enormous environmental issues as human consumption has begun to stress Earth's resources, and thus, our ability to sustain our existence in the way we are accustomed. In parallel with finding ways to mitigate the impact of climate change, we must address the important issue of depletion of conventional energy supplies. A diverse portfolio of energy sources must be developed that also achieves the needed atmospheric carbon reductions. Earth's ocean contains large amounts of untapped clean renewable energy resources that can play a significant role in our future energy portfolio. These resources are found in the waves, currents, tides, and ocean thermal gradients. Indeed, ocean energy sources could become the primary energy source for some resource-rich coastal communities.

Reference: Ocean Renewable Energy's Potential Role in Supplying Future Electrical Energy Needs (2010). Robert Thresher and Walter Musial; Oceanography 23(2):16–21.

Link: http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/23-2_thresher.html

U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Resource type: Report

Description: This report examines current and potential future impacts of climate trends (e.g., temperature changes and water availability) on the U.S. energy sector. In particular, researchers identified several critical issues, including power-plant disruptions due to drought and the disruption of fuel supplies during severe storms. The report also pinpoints potential opportunities that would make the energy infrastructure more resilient to these risks

Reference: U.S. Energy Sector Vulnerabilities to Climate Change and Extreme Weather (2013). Craig Zamuda (coordinating lead author), Bryan Mignone, Dan Bilello, K.C. Hallett, Courtney Lee, Jordan Macknick, Robin Newmark, and Daniel Steinberg. U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs (DOE-PI) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). DOE/PI-0013.

Link: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/07/f2/20130716Energy%20Sector%20Vulnerabilities%20Report.pdf

Climate Change and Energy Supply and Use

Resource type: Document

Description: The report summarizes current knowledge, especially emerging findings since 2007, about implications of climate change for energy use, implications of climate change for energy production and supply (oil and gas, thermal electricity, renewable energy, integrated perspectives, and indirect impacts on energy systems), followed by discussions of implications for future risk management strategies, research gaps, and moving toward a self-sustained continuing assessment capacity for the longer term.

Reference: Climate Change and Energy Supply and Use (2012). Tom Wilbanks (coordinating lead author); Ban Bilello, David Schmalzer, and Mike Scott (lead authors); Doug Arent, Jim Buizer, Helena Chum, Jan Dell, Jae Edmonds, Guido Franco, Russell Jones, Steve, Nikki, Alan Sanstad, Steve Seidel, John Weyant, and Don Wuebbles. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Technical Report to the U.S. Department of Energy in Support of the National Climate Assessment.

Link: http://www.esd.ornl.gov/eess/EnergySupplyUse.pdf

The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife, and Secure America’s Energy Future

Resource type: Document

Description: This report provides summaries of the status of offshore wind development for states on the Atlantic seaboard. The report also tracks the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s progress in permitting offshore wind energy since the ‘Smart from the Start’ process was launched in 2010.

Reference: The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife, and Secure America’s Energy Future (2012). Catherine Bowes and Justin Allegro; National Wildlife Federation.

Link: http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/GlobalWarming/Reports/NWF_2012OffshoreWind_Final.ashx

Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States

Resource type: Project report

Description: This project created a national database of tidal stream energy potential, as well as a GIS tool usable by industry in order to accelerate the market for tidal energy conversion technology. Tidal currents are numerically modeled with the Regional Ocean Modeling System and calibrated with the available measurements of tidal current speed and water level surface. The performance of the model in predicting the tidal currents and water levels is assessed with an independent validation. The geodatabase is published at a public domain via a spatial database engine and interactive tools to select, query and download the data are provided. Regions with the maximum of the average kinetic power density larger than 500 W/m2 (corresponding to a current speed of ~1 m/s), surface area larger than 0.5 km2 and depth larger than 5 m are defined as hotspots and list of hotspots along the USA coast is documented. The results of the regional assessment show that Alaska contains the largest number of locations with considerably high kinetic power density, followed by: Maine, Washington, Oregon, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Reference: Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States (2011). Kevin A. Haas, Hermann M. Fritz, Steven P. French, Brennan T. Smith, and Vincent Neary. Georgia Tech Research Corporation.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/1023527.pdf

Mapping and Assessment of the US Ocean Wave Energy Resource

Resource type: Report

Description: This project estimates the naturally available and technically recoverable U.S. wave energy resources, using a database developed especially for this study by NOAA. The total available wave energy resource along the U.S. continental shelf edge, based on accumulating unit circle wave power densities, is estimated to be 2,640 TWh/yr. The total recoverable wave energy resource, as constrained by an array capacity packing density of 15 megawatts per kilometer of coastline, with a 100-fold operating range between threshold and maximum operating conditions in terms of input wave power density available to such arrays, yields a total recoverable resource along the U.S. continental shelf edge of 1,170 TWh/yr.

Reference: Mapping and Assessment of the US Ocean Wave Energy Resource (2011). G. Scott. Prepared by the Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the Electric Power Research Institute.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/mappingandassessment.pdf

Technical Issues

Not Just Riding the Waves, These Competitors Seek to Harness Their Energy

Resource type: Online article

Description: Nine finalists were named in the Department of Energy’s Wave Energy Prize competition awarding technologies most likely to make a commercial reality out of wave energy. Proposed projects include barges on the ocean surface and bobbing buoy-like devices to air bags tethered to the sea floor. Three winners, to be announced November, will receive grants of $1.5 million for first place, $500,000 for second and $250,000 for third. The money will be used as seed capital to build demonstration projects, which could attract private investment. The technologies will be judged on how much the project costs per meter to build relative to how much power it generates.

Reference: Jesse Emspak (2016). Not Just Riding the Waves, These Competitors Seek to Harness Their Energy. Inside Climate News (March 7, 2016).

Link: http://insideclimatenews.org/news/06032016/wave-energy-power-department-energy-contest-renewable-climate-change?utm_source=Inside+Climate+News&utm_campaign=35ce126d42-InsideClimate_News12_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-35ce126d42-327744333

Georgia Tech and Georgia DNR Launch Marine Planning Application to Support Responsible Offshore Energy Development

Resource type: Marine spacial planning tool

Description: Georgia's coastline provides an infinite supply of natural wind and ocean resources that have the potential to substantially contribute to the state's energy supply. Development of these coastal resources has progressed slowly, in part because state and federal laws regarding the use of coastal waters for offshore energy development are still evolving and no structure is currently in place for local and state permitting. Georgia Tech's Center for Geographic Information Systems and Strategic Energy Institute, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Coastal Resources Division, launched a new marine spatial planning tool: the Georgia Coastal and Marine Planner (GCAMP). The tool aims to define a clear process for offshore energy licensing and permitting in Georgia, and close data and communication gaps between regulatory agencies that could delay the permitting process.

Sponsored through a 5-year grant from NOAA, GCAMP creates a central repository for public data and information relating to Georgia's coastline. The application provides industry, governmental agencies, and research institutions engaged in the planning and management of Georgia's ocean resources with a series of tools and interactive maps to aid in the assessment of potential locations for offshore development.

Link: http://geospatial.gatech.edu/GCAMP/

UMaine debuting ocean simulator to test sea-bound technology

Resource type: Online article

Description: The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has created a miniature indoor ocean that will simulate a stormy ocean to help innovators find out if their creations can withstand the sea's strength. The indoor facility, six years in the making, will be able to simulate waves over 100 feet tall and winds of more than 200 mph on scale models to test products such as offshore wind, tidal and wave energy facilities; aquaculture ventures; oil and gas equipment and critical infrastructure such as ports and bridges.

Reference: UMaine debuting ocean simulator to test sea-bound technology (2015). Patrick Whittle. PhysOrg (November 22, 2015).

Link: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-umaine-debuting-ocean-simulator-sea-bound.html

WEC-Sim: The Open-Source Wave Energy Converter Simulator

Resource type: Software/modeling tool

Description: WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter Simulator) is an open-source wave energy converter (WEC) simulation tool. The code is developed in MATLAB/SIMULINK using the multi-body dynamics solver SimMechanics. WEC-Sim has the ability to model devices that are comprised of rigid bodies, power-take-off systems, and mooring systems. Simulations are performed in the time-domain by solving the governing WEC equations of motion in 6 degrees-of-freedom as described in the WEC-Sim Theory Manual. The WEC-Sim project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office and the code development effort is a collaboration between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL).

Link: http://en.openei.org/wiki/WEC-Sim

2014 JRC Ocean Energy Status Report

Resource type: Report

Description: [Abstract] Oceans and seas have the potential to play a significant role in providing clean energy. Different technologies are currently being developed to ensure a long term contribution of ocean energy to the future energy system. Among the different ocean energy technologies, tidal and wave conversion systems are expected to contribute the most to the European energy system in the short to medium term, due to both local availability of the resources and advanced technological status. Current projections foresee about 40 MW of tidal and 25 MW of wave energy capacity being installed by 2018. The sector has witnessed encouraging signals both on the policy side and on projected markets; however, the commercialization of key technologies and their technical maturity have not progressed as expected. In 2014, the European Commission has reinforced its support and commitment to the development of ocean energy through a dedicated policy framework and its inclusion in both the blue growth agenda and the 2050 energy agenda. This report stems from the need of monitoring the evolution of the ocean energy technology, industry and market in Europe, with an eye at its global development. It aims to portray the state-of-play of the sector, key achievements, and mechanisms that have been put in place to overcome documented gaps and barriers in the sector towards commercialization.

Reference: 2014 JRC Ocean Energy Status Report (2015). Davide Magagna and Andreas Uihlein. Institute for Energy and Transport, Publications Office of the European Union DOI: 10.2790/866387.

Link: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/publication/eur-scientific-and-technical-research-reports/2014-jrc-ocean-energy-status-report

Enabling Wind Power Nationwide

Resource type: Report

Description: This report shows how the United States can unlock the vast potential for wind energy deployment in all 50 states—made possible through the next-generation of larger wind turbines. It highlights wind energy’s potential to generate electricity even in states with no utility-scale wind energy development today.

Through technological advancements, coupled with continued improvements in siting practices and considerations, technologies focused on taller wind turbine towers and larger rotors—currently under development by the Energy Department and its partnering national labs, universities, and private-sector companies—America can more efficiently capture the stronger and more consistent wind resources typically found at greater heights above ground level.

Reference: Jose Zayas, Michael Derby, Patrick Gilman, and Shreyas Ananthan (US Dept. Energy), Eric Lantz, and Jason Cotrell (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Fredric Beck (SRA International, Inc.), Richard Tusing (New West Technologies). 2015. Enabling Wind Power Nationwide, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Link: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/05/f22/Enabling-Wind-PowerNationwide_18MAY2015_FINAL.pdf

A novel hybrid MCDM approach for offshore wind farm site selection: A case study of Iran

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] The multi criteria decision making (MCDM) has been applied in Integrated Energy Planning (IEP) and Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) frameworks. In this paper, a novel hybrid MCDM approach based on the fuzzy analytic network process (ANP), fuzzy decision making trail and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) and fuzzy elimination and choice expressing the reality (ELECTRE) methodologies is applied to assist in the site selection of offshore wind farm (OWF) as the renewable energy in the IEP and the ICM frameworks. The aim of this study is to find the best site selection of offshore wind farm for four sites (alternatives) in Bandar Deylam on the Persian Gulf in southwest of Iran. Six criteria (depths and heights, environmental issues, proximity to facilities, economic aspects, resource technical levels and culture) and the related sub-criteria are considered to select proper sites for power station of OWF. The fuzzy ANP method is employed for standpoints of the site selection (goal) subject to the criteria and is performed the criteria subject to the sub-criteria. In addition, due to considering the influences of the criterion to another criterion, the fuzzy DEMATEL is employed in criteria and sub-criteria sections. Moreover, the fuzzy ELECTRE is applied to calculate the decision making matrices of sub-criteria to alternatives. The results show that the alternative A3 is the best site of OWF for Bandar Deylam. Then A2, A4 are the best alternatives and finally alternative A1 is the worst site. Also, a sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate the robustness of the outcomes of decision making by changing the priorities of the criteria. The results indicate the robustness of this method when the experts’ opinions subject to the criteria change. The evaluation criteria and this methodology could be applied to other coastal cities for promoting the progress of ICM towards the goal of sustainability.

Reference: A novel hybrid MCDM approach for offshore wind farm site selection: A case study of Iran (2015). Abdolvahhab Fetanat and Ehsan Khorasaninejad. Ocean & Coastal Management 109: 17-28.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000423

The challenging life of wave energy devices at sea: A few points to consider

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] Wave power devices offer great prospects for the marine renewable energy sector. But in comparison to wind energy, wave power is still in its infancy, mainly prototype-based, with technological gaps akin to those experienced in the wind sector some 15 years ago. Several aspects that did not seem significant at a first glance in the design phase, such as the interaction with the marine environment, turned out to be important when the first prototypes were put in the water. In fact, these devices have to face great challenges once at sea and several prototypes have not survived. Firstly, ocean waves are not such an innocuous, predictable flow of water and secondly, life thrives in the ocean. Wave power devices are perfect artificial reefs suitable for algal growth and colonization by many species. And they will have to sustain harsh conditions for over two decades while producing energy. For obvious reasons, there is a lack of existing literature on the subject. In this short review we address a simple question: how tough will the life of wave power devices at sea be? The answer is based on available evidence. We provide as well some ideas to take up the challenge.

Reference: The challenging life of wave energy devices at sea: A few points to consider (2014). Roxana Tiron, Fionn Mallon, Frédéric Dias, and Emmanuel Reynaud; Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 43: 1263-1272.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032114010521

Co-located wind-wave farm synergies (Operation & Maintenance): A case study

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] Operation and maintenance can jeopardize the financial viability of an offshore wind energy project due to the cost of downtime, repairs and, above all, the inevitable uncertainties. The variability of wave climate can impede or hinder emergency repairs when a failure occurs, and the resulting delays imply additional costs which ultimately reduce the competitiveness of offshore wind energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. Co-located wind turbines and Wave Energy Converters (WECs) are proposed in this paper as a novel solution: the reduction of the significant wave height brought about by the WECs along the periphery of the wind farm results in a milder wave climate within the farm. This reduction, also called shadow effect, enlarges weather windows for Operation & Maintenance (O&M). The objective of this paper is to investigate the increase in the accessibility time to the turbines and to optimize the layout for the co-located wind-wave farm in order to maximize this time. The investigation is carried out through a case study: Alpha Ventus, an operating offshore wind farm. To maximize the reduction of wave height in the turbine area no fewer than 15 layouts are tested using high-resolution numerical modelling, and a sensitivity analysis is conducted. The results show that, thanks to the wave energy extraction by the WECs, weather windows (access time) can increase very significantly – over 80%. This substantial effect, together with other benefits from the combination of wave and offshore wind power in a co-located farm (common electrical infrastructures, shared O&M equipment and crews, etc.) will enhance the economic viability of these marine renewables, and hence their potential to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.

Reference: Co-located wind-wave farm synergies (Operation & Maintenance): A case study (2014). S. Astariz, C. Pérez-Collazo, and J. Abanades, G. Iglesias; Energy Conversion and Management 91: 63-75.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890414010292

Hydrokinetic energy conversion systems: A technology status review

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] Hydrokinetic energy conversion systems are the electromechanical devices that convert kinetic energy of river streams, tidal currents, man-made water channels or waves into electricity without using a special head and impoundment. This new technology became popular especially in the last two decades and needs to be well investigated. In this study, the hydrokinetic energy conversion systems were reviewed broadly. They have been categorized into two main groups as current and wave energy conversion devices. Their technology, working principles, environmental impacts, source potential, advantages, drawbacks and related issues were detailed.

Reference: Hydrokinetic energy conversion systems: A technology status review (2015). Ishak Yuce and Abdullah Muratoglu; Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 43: 72-82.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032114008624

Potential Sites for Tidal Power Generation: A Thorough Search at Coast Of New Jersey, USA

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] In order to facilitate development of tidal power, a high-resolution survey with unprecedentedly fine grids has been made for marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy at the seashore of New Jersey (NJ) and its neighbor states. As a sequel as well as the finish to this survey, the current paper makes a thorough search for potential sites for actual tidal power generation along the entire shorelines of NJ and partial coast of New York, with special attention to locations near transportation infrastructures, and it evaluates their power density, surface area, water depth, distance to environmentally sensitive zones, etc. A list of 32 top sites are identified along the coastlines, and, among them, 21 sites with total surface area of 13 km2 are located in the nearshore regions of NJ, and many sites are found next to its bridges. Another 10 favorable sites are also picked up near ports, docks, and marinas in NJ. An estimate indicates that 3.95×105 kW of tidal power could be extracted from the 21 sites. Analysis shows that sea-level-rise could substantially change tidal energy at the identified sites, and it is a factor that has to be taken into account in site selection. On the basis of these results, the approaches for a high-resolution survey for MHK energy are summarized and their future development is discussed.

Reference: Potential Sites for Tidal Power Generation: A Thorough Search at Coast Of New Jersey, USA (2014). H.S. Tang, K. Qa, G.Q. Chen, S. Kraatz, N. Aboobaker, and C.B. Jiang. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 39: 412-425.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032114005036

High-resolution survey of tidal energy towards power generation and influence of sea-level-rise: a case study at coast of New Jersey, USA

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] The first and a crucial step in development of tidal power, which is now attracting more and more attention worldwide, is a reliable survey of temporal and spatial distribution of tidal energy along coastlines. This paper first reviews the advance in assessment of tidal energy, in particular marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy, and discusses involved challenges and necessary approaches, and then it makes a thorough survey as an illustrative case study on distributions and top sites of MHK energy within the Might-Atlantic-Bight (MAB) with emphasis on the New Jersey (NJ) coastlines. In view of the needs in actual development of tidal power generation and sensitivity of tidal power to flow speed, the former being proportional to the third power of the latter, a high-resolution and detailed modeling is desired. Data with best available accuracy for coastlines, bathymetry, tributaries, etc. are used, meshes as fine as 20 m and less for the whole NJ coast are generated, and the unstructured grid finite volume coastal ocean model (FVCOM) and high performance computing (HPC) facilities are employed. Besides comparison with observation data, a series of numerical tests have been made to ensure reliability of the modeling results. A detailed tidal energy distribution and a list of top sites for tidal power are presented. It is shown that indeed sea-level-rise (SLR) affects the tidal energy distribution significantly. With SLR of 0.5 m and 1 m, tidal energy in NJ coastal waters increases by 21% and 43%, respectively, and the number of the top sties tends to decrease along the barrier islands facing the Atlantic Ocean and increase in the Delaware Bay and the Delaware River. On the basis of these results, further discussions are made on future development for accurate assessment of tidal energy.

Reference: High-resolution survey of tidal energy towards power generation and influence of sea-level-rise: a case study at coast of New Jersey, USA (2014) Tang, Kraatz, Qu, Chen, Aboobaker, Jiang. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 32: 960–982.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032113008551

Assessment of Offshore Wind System Design, Safety, and Operation Standards

Resource type: Report

Description: This report focuses on NREL’s development of three delineated leasing area options for the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area (MAWEA) and the technical evaluation of these leasing areas. The overarching objective of this study is to develop a logical process by which the MAWEA can be subdivided into non-overlapping leasing areas for BOEM’s use in developing an auction process in a renewable energy lease sale. NREL worked with BOEM to identify an appropriate number of leasing areas and proposed three delineation alternatives within the MAWEA based on the boundaries announced in May 2012. A primary output of the interagency agreement is this report, which documents the methodology, including key variables and assumptions, by which the leasing areas were identified and delineated.

Reference: Assessment of Offshore Wind System Design, Safety, and Operation Standards (2014). Senu Sirnivas, Walt Musial, Bruce Bailey, and Matthew Filippelli. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; NREL/TP-5000-60573.

Link: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f14/60573.pdf

Mapping Seabird Sensitivity to Offshore Wind Farms

Resource type: Research paper

Description: [Abstract] We present a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool, SeaMaST (Seabird Mapping and Sensitivity Tool), to provide evidence on the use of sea areas by seabirds and inshore waterbirds in English territorial waters, mapping their relative sensitivity to offshore wind farms. SeaMaST is a freely available evidence source for use by all connected to the offshore wind industry and will assist statutory agencies in assessing potential risks to seabird populations from planned developments. Data were compiled from offshore boat and aerial observer surveys spanning the period 1979–2012. The data were analyzed using distance analysis and Density Surface Modelling to produce predicted bird densities across a grid covering English territorial waters at a resolution of 3 km63 km. Coefficients of Variation were estimated for each grid cell density, as an indication of confidence in predictions. Offshore wind farm sensitivity scores were compiled for seabird species using English territorial waters. The comparative risks to each species of collision with turbines and displacement from operational turbines were reviewed and scored separately, and the scores were multiplied by the bird density estimates to produce relative sensitivity maps. The sensitivity maps reflected well the amassed distributions of the most sensitive species. SeaMaST is an important new tool for assessing potential impacts on seabird populations from offshore development at a time when multiple large areas of development are proposed which overlap with many seabird species’ ranges. It will inform marine spatial planning as well as identifying priority areas of sea usage by marine birds. Example SeaMaST outputs are presented.

Reference: Mapping Seabird Sensitivity to Offshore Wind Farms (2014). Gareth Bradbury, Mark Trinder, Bob Furness, Alex N. Banks, Richard W. G. Caldow, and Duncan Hume. PLoS ONE 9(9): e106366.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106366

Link: http://openchannels.org/sites/default/files/literature/Mapping%20seabird%20sensitivity%20to%20offshore%20wind%20farms.pdf

National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study

Resource type: Report

Description: The intent of this report was to help address the Department of Energy’s two critical objectives in overcoming offshore wind barriers: to reduce the cost of energy and to reduce deployment timelines. The report’s study tasks were as follows: select likely locations for offshore wind development; develop wind production profiles; begin integration analysis of impacts such as wind variability; and assess offshore wind energy collection and delivery technologies. Five focus areas were considered: the offshore collection system, the delivery system from platform to onshore substation, undersea cabling and installation, marine substation design and hardware, and regulatory issues.

The executive summary provides a high-level overview focusing on the study purposes, results, conclusions, and brief descriptions of the task efforts and is likely to be of primary interest to decision makers and leaders in government and industry.

Reference: National Offshore Wind Energy Grid Interconnection Study (2014). John P. Daniel (Principal Investigator), Shu Liu, Eduardo Ibanez, Ken Pennock, Gregory Reed, and Spencer Hanes. Prepared by ABB, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Energy, DOE Award No. EE-0005365.

Link: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/08/f18/NOWEGIS%20Executive%20Summary.pdf(Executive summery)
    http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/08/f18/NOWEGIS%20Full%20Report.pdf (Full report)

IEA Wind Annual Report for 2013

Resource type: Report

Description: This IEA Wind 2013 Annual Report contains chapters from each member country and from the Chinese Wind Energy Association (reporting on the People’s Republic of China) and the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and European Commission reporting on activity in European Union (EU) countries. The countries report how much wind energy they have deployed, how they benefit from wind energy, and how their policies and research programs will increase wind power’s contribution to the world energy supply. This annual report also presents the latest research results and plans of the 13 IEA Wind active co-operative research activities (tasks) that address specific issues related to wind energy development.

This Executive Summary presents highlights and trends from the chapters about each member country and research task, as well as compiled statistics for all countries. Data from the past 16 years, as reported in previous IEA Wind documents (IEA Wind 1995–2012), are included as background for discussions of 2013 events.

Reference: IEA Wind Annual Report for 2013 (2014). Executive Committee of the Implementing Agreement for Co-operation in the Research, Development, and Deployment of Wind Energy Systems of the International Energy Agency.ISBN 0-9786383-9-5.

Link: http://www.ieawind.org/annual_reports_PDF/2013/2013%20AR_small_090114.pdf (Full report)
    http://www.ieawind.org/annual_reports_PDF/2013.html(U.S. country report)

Catching the Right Wave: Evaluating Wave Energy Resources and Potential Compatibility with Existing Marine and Coastal Uses

Resource type: Research paper

Description: In this study, the authors developed a decision-support tool to assist siting wave energy facilities, which allows the user to balance profitability with the need to minimize conflicts with other ocean uses. Their wave energy model quantifies harvestable wave energy at local, regional, and global scales and evaluates the net present value (NPV) of a wave energy facility based on a capital investment analysis. An application of the model and compatibility analysis on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada found that wave power and harvestable wave energy gradually increase offshore as wave conditions intensify. However, areas with high economic potential for wave energy facilities were closer to cable landing points because of the cost of bringing energy ashore and thus near to shore areas that support a number of different human uses. The authors believe their tools will help decision-makers explore alternative locations for wave energy facilities by mapping expected wave energy NPV and helping to identify sites that provide maximal returns yet avoid spatial competition with existing ocean uses.

Reference: Catching the Right Wave: Evaluating Wave Energy Resources and Potential Compatibility with Existing Marine and Coastal Uses (2012). C.K. Kim, J.E. Toft, M. Papenfus, G. Verutes, A.D. Guerry,  M.H. Ruckelshaus, K.K. Arkema, G. Guannel, S.A. Wood, J.R. Bernhardt, H. Tallis, M.L. Plummer, B.S. Halpern, M.L. Pinsky, M.W. Beck, F. Chan, K.M.A. Chan, P.S. Levin, and S. Polasky. Plos One, 7(11): 1-14.

Link: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0047598

Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Database, U.S. Department of Energy

Resource type: Database

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Database provides up-to-date information on marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy, both in the U.S. and around the world. The database includes wave, tidal, current, and ocean thermal energy, and contains information on the various energy conversion technologies, companies active in the field, and development of projects in the water. Depending on the needs of the user, the database can present a snapshot of projects in a given region, assess the progress of a certain technology type, or provide a comprehensive view of the entire marine and hydrokinetic energy industry.

Link: http://en.openei.org/wiki/Marine_and_Hydrokinetic_Technology_Database

Marine and Hydrokinetic Atlas, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (DOE)

Resource type: Interactive website

Description: The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory incorporated the data from the national wave resource assessment into its U.S. Renewable Resource atlas, where viewers can pan, zoom, and filter through graphically displayed data layers. The atlas includes data about wave energy (e.g., wave hindcast direction and wave power density) and ocean thermal energy conversion including sea surface temperatures and cold water depth. In the future, 30 years of wave and weather data will be incorporated into the database to inform technological requirements and risks associated with wave energy development projects.

Link: http://maps.nrel.gov/mhk_atlas

Marine and Hydrokinetic Device Modeling Workshop Summary Report

Resource type: Workshop report

Description: The purpose of this workshop was to provide a forum for numerical modeling experts, from industry, national laboratories, the Department of Energy, and academia, to identify areas where improvements in numerical modeling technologies are possible, and which improvements can provide maximum benefit to the marine and hydrokinetic industry. During the workshop, three priority action items for improving the present set of numerical modeling tools were identified: (1) provide benchmark experimental results that can be used to validate numerical models; (2) develop a computationally efficient numerical method that can accurately simulate non-linear interactions between marine and hydrokinetic devices and the wave and current environments, in which the devices operate; and (3) develop systems-level engineering modeling approaches that integrate different disciplines, such as power systems, hydrodynamics, and structures into a single numerical modeling package.

Reference: 2011 Marine and Hydrokinetic Device Modeling Workshop Summary Report (2011). Ye Li, Michael Reed, and Brian Smith. USDOE, EERE, Wind and Water Power Program.

Link: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy12osti/51421.pdf

Southeastern Ocean-Based Renewable Energy Infrastructure Project

Resource type: Project

Description: Offshore wind energy development is an issue that will be increasingly important in the coming years, and there are numerous initiatives underway to evaluate the region’s potential for offshore wind energy development. This offshore wind energy project is funded by a U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program grant, administered by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and facilitated by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. This multi-phased project is a collaboration among state, regional, and national agencies to create a thorough understanding of the infrastructure required to develop gigawatt scale ocean renewable energy resources in an economic manner.

Link: https://sites.google.com/site/sobreip/home/completed-reports

The Marine Cadastre

Resource type: Mapping tool

Description: MarineCadastre.gov is an integrated marine information system that provides ocean data, offshore planning tools, and technical support to the offshore renewable energy community. The project was designed specifically to support renewable energy siting on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf but is also being used for other ocean-related efforts. MarineCadastre.gov has three primary focus areas: Web map viewers and ocean planning tools; spatial data registry; and technical support and regional capacity building.

MarineCadastre.gov provides the following products and services:

  • Spatial Data Registry – provides over 140 authoritative data layers or Web map services
  • MarineCadastre.gov National Viewer – allows users to view and interact with the data
  • Map Gallery – features custom maps that users can view, modify, or enhance with their own map services or GIS layers
  • Technical Support – provides guidance, best practices, and other helpful resources
  • In Practice – provides examples of how MarineCadastre.gov products and services are being used
  • Updates – provides recent data and website updates
  • So What? – helps users understand how MarineCadastre.gov data can be useful

Link: http://marinecadastre.gov

Estuary Data Mapper

Resource type: Mapping tool

Description: The Estuary Data Mapper (EDM) tool provides an interactive, graphical means to retrieve, view, and save a wide range of estuarine data from multiple sources. This tool is a free, stand-alone tool for geospatial data discovery, visualization, and data download for estuaries and their associated watersheds in the conterminous United States. Using a variety of federal agency web services, EDM provides ready access to environmental time series data such as water and sediment quality, freshwater discharge, and tides. Users can select specific datasets for display and download or choose pre-packaged options designed to provide input to specific decision support tools and models. Outputs are available in open-source formats, including shapefiles, kml files, and ASCII grids.

Link: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/edm

Habitat Priority Planner 

Resource type: Planning tool

Description: This tool aids in making decisions about conservation, restoration, and planning. The Habitat Priority Planner takes away much of the subjective nature of the process by providing a means of obtaining critical habitat analyses that are consistent, repeatable, and transparent. The program allows users to easily test various ideas and "what if" scenarios on the fly, making it the perfect tool to use in a group setting. The tool features include:

  • Inventories specific habitat relevant to the study area
  • Assesses target habitat conditions with pre-packaged spatial analysis
  • Analyzes "what if" scenarios, such as the impact of new development or how restoration might change habitat function
  • Involves people, thanks to the fast, interactive environment this easy-to-use system provides
  • Creates maps, reports, and data tables to enhance communication and the decision-making process

Link: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/hpp/

Training presentation -- Locating Offshore Wind Energy Sites Using the Habitat Priority Planner 

Description: This July 2012 webinar presentation by Chrissa Waite (NOAA Coastal Services Center) is a PowerPoint presentation with recorded voice (39 minutes long). Viewers can skip and review specific slides, as desired.

Link: http://noaa.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=464fe79c76462192284bfd65a&id=d1b8e1c5f1&e=2e18d36f53

Siting Analysis for Potential Near-Term Offshore Wind Farm Development: Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina

Resource type: Report

Description: This analysis is a part of a multi-phased project to understand the infrastructure required to develop gigawatt-scale offshore wind development. This siting analysis identifies offshore areas off of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia where ocean-based renewable energy may be most feasible, taking into consideration geological, environmental, economic, military, transportation, and other constraints. The analysis has resulted in a uniform regionally-focused dataset that is being used to identify potential offshore wind energy development study blocks specifically for the next phases of the project. This analysis is not meant to be comprehensive and should not be used in lieu of more specific resource studies, but it provides a good synthesis of available baseline data for initial planning purposes. The results identify areas within which it may be feasible to develop gigawatt-scale offshore wind facilities; however, it is likely that only a very small portion of them would be developed in the near-term. Additionally, these areas are identified based on very specific factors relevant to this analysis and thus do not necessarily represent the only areas available for offshore wind development within the Study Area. Further research and consultation with numerous agencies is required before any areas may be developed.

Reference: Siting Analysis for Potential Near-Term Offshore Wind Farm Development: Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina (2011). Prepared by Geo-Marine, Inc. for the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, North Carolina State Energy Office, South Carolina State Energy Office, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and US Department of Energy.

Link: http://www.gcrc.uga.edu/SARRP/Documents/Phase2ASitingAnalysis_FinalReport.pdf

Economics

Offshore Wind Projects: 2006-2015

Resource type: Report

Description: From 2006 to 2015, DOE’s Wind Program announced awards totaling more than $300 million for 72 projects focused on offshore wind. Table 1 provides a brief description of each of these projects. There are two sources of funding for offshore wind projects covered in this report: Competitive Funding Opportunity Announcements (funded by Congressional Appropriations) and Congressionally Directed Projects (CDPs).

Reference: Offshore Wind Projects: 2006-2015 (2015). U.S. Department of Energy, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, Funding in the United States

Link: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/09/f26/Offshore-Wind-Projects-2006-2015_091815.pdf

2014 Wind Technologies Market Report

Resource type: Report

Description: According to the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report, total installed wind power capacity in the United States grew at a rate of eight percent in 2014, bringing the United States total installed capacity to nearly 66 gigawatts (GW), which ranks second in the world and meets 4.9 percent of U.S. end-use electricity demand in an average year. In total, 4,854 MW of new wind energy capacity were installed in the United States in 2014. The 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report also finds that wind energy prices are at an all-time low and are competitive with wholesale power prices and traditional power sources across many areas of the United States.
Additionally, a new trend identified by the 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report shows utility-scale turbines with larger rotors designed for lower wind speeds have been increasingly deployed across the country in 2014. The findings also suggest that the success of the U.S. wind industry has had a ripple effect on the American economy, supporting 73,000 jobs related to development, siting, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.

Reference: 2014 Wind Technologies Market Report (2015). Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger (primary authors); Galen Barbose, Naïm Darghouth, Ben Hoen, Andrew Mills, Kristina Hamachi LaCommare, Dev Millstein, Dana Hansen, Kevin Porter, Rebecca Widiss, Michael Buckley, Frank Oteri, Aaron Smith, and Suzanne Tegen (contributing authors). U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Links: http://energy.gov/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.png2014 Wind Technologies Market Report
http://energy.gov/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.png2014 Wind Technologies Market Report Highlights
http://energy.gov/modules/file/icons/x-office-presentation.png2014 Wind Technologies Market Report Presentation
http://energy.gov/modules/file/icons/x-office-spreadsheet.png2014 Wind Technologies Market Report Data File

2014 Distributed Wind Market Report

Resource type: Report

Description: According to the 2014 Distributed Wind Market Report, distributed wind reached a cumulative capacity of almost 1 GW (906 MW) in the United States in 2014, reflecting nearly 74,000 wind turbines deployed across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In total, 63.6 MW of new distributed wind capacity was added in 2014, representing nearly 1,700 units and $170 million in investment across 24 states. In 2014, America's distributed wind energy industry supported a growing domestic industrial base as exports from United States-based small wind turbine manufacturers accounted for nearly 80% of United States-based manufacturers' sales.

Reference: 2014 Distributed Wind Market Report (2015). Alice C Orrell and Nikolas F Foster (authors), Scott L Morris (contributor). Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Richland, Washington.

Links: http://energy.gov/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.png2014 Distributed Wind Market Report

http://energy.gov/modules/file/icons/x-office-spreadsheet.png2014 Distributed Wind Market Report Data Table

http://energy.gov/modules/file/icons/application-pdf.png2014 Distributed Wind Market Report Fact Sheet

Marine trade-offs: comparing the benefits of off-shore wind farms and marine protected areas

Resource type: Report

Description: [Abstract] The drive to increase renewable electricity production in many parts of Europe has led to an increasing concentration of location of new sites at sea. This results in a range of environmental impacts which should be taken into account in a benefit-cost analysis of such proposal. In this paper, we use choice modelling to investigate the relative gains and losses from siting new windfarms off the coast of Estonia, relative to the option of creating a new marine protected area. Methodologically, the paper makes a contribution by showing the ability of the latent class mixed logit model to represent both within-and between-class preference heterogeneity, and thus its power to provide a more sophisticated representation of preference heterogeneity than latent class or mixed logit approaches. The paper is also the first to use the latent class mixed logit in willingness-to-pay space for environmental goods.

Reference:  Marine trade-offs: comparing the benefits of off-shore wind farms and marine protected areas (2015). Aljona Karlõševa, Sulev Nõmmann, Tea Nõmmann, Evelin Urbel-Piirsalu, Wiktor Budziński, Mikołaj Czajkowski, and Nick Hanley. 19/2015 (167) University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences; Warsaw, Poland.

Link: https://www.openchannels.org/sites/default/files/literature/Marine%20tradeoffs%20comparing%20the%20benefits%20of%20off-shore%20wind%20farms%20and%20marine%20protected%20areas.pdf.

New York Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Study

Resource type: Report

Description: This paper examines and quantifies the potential for reduced offshore wind project costs through technological innovation, global market maturation and actions that New York could undertake unilaterally or in collaboration with other Atlantic coast states. The objectives of this study were to identify and quantify:

  • Global cost-reduction opportunities for OSW that will be transferrable to the U.S. and New York;
  • Cost reductions associated with U.S. experience (or learning) as additional New York State projects are deployed; and
  • New York State-specific interventions or actions to reduce the cost of offshore wind and their associated impacts.

Reference: New York Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Study (2015). Stephanie McClellan, Deniz Ozkan, Willett Kempton, Andrew Levitt, and Heather Thomson. Prepared by the University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Link: http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/File%20Library/About/SIOW/New-York-Offshore-Wind-Cost-Reduction-Study-ff8-2.pdf

Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States

Resource type: Report

Description: The Wind Vision report results from a collaboration of the DOE with over 250 experts from industry, electric power system operators, environmental stewardship organizations, state and federal governmental agencies, research institutions and laboratories, and siting and permitting stakeholder groups. The Wind Vision report updates and expands upon the DOE’s 2008 report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030,through analysis of scenarios of wind power supplying 10% of national end-use electricity demand by 2020, 20% by 2030, and 35% by 2050. This Study Scenario provides a framework for conducting detailed quantitative impact Deployment of wind technology for U.S. electricity generation provides a domestic, sustainable, and essentially zero-carbon, zero-pollution and zero-water use U.S. electricity resource. The Wind Vision analysis concludes that it is both viable and economically compelling to deploy U.S. wind power generation in a portfolio of domestic, low-carbon, low-pollutant power generation solutions at the Study Scenario levels.

The Wind Vision study does not evaluate nor recommend policy actions, but analyzes feasibility, costs, and benefits of increased wind power deployment to inform policy decisions at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels.

Reference: Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States (2015). U.S. Department of Energy, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office; DOE/GO-102015-4557.

Link: http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/WindVision_Report_final.pdf

Especially relevant chapter:

Chapter 2: Wind Power in the United States

Description: The United States has more than 15,000 GW of technical wind resource potential, both land-based and offshore, that can be harnessed and delivered reliably into existing power networks through utility-scale and distributed installations. The U.S. Department of Energy recognizes that offshore wind has become prominent in Europe—reaching 6.5 GW through year-end 2013—and could emerge in the United States in the near future. Nearly all scales of wind power technology are reflected in the Wind Vision study, although distributed wind applications are captured primarily within the larger land-based designation. In this chapter, offshore and distributed wind technologies are highlighted.

New Model Demonstrates Offshore Wind Industry’s Job Growth Potential

Resource type: Online article

Description: The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a tool to estimate jobs and other economic impacts associated with offshore wind development in the United States. The modeling tool, Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts, illustrates the potential economic impact and number of jobs associated with fixed-bottom offshore wind technology development, and applies to areas of the country that have waters shallow enough for fixed-bottom offshore wind technology. 

Link: http://energy.gov/eere/wind/articles/new-model-demonstrates-offshore-wind-industry-s-job-growth-potential

Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts in the United States: Four Regional Scenarios

Resource type: Report

Description: This technical report shares the results and shows that an offshore wind industry in the United States has the potential to support thousands of jobs—even at relatively conservative levels of deployment and domestic supply chain growth. The fixed-bottom offshore wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) model is one of several user-friendly National Renewable Energy Laboratory JEDI models that estimate the economic impacts of constructing and operating power generation and biofuel plants at the state and local levels.

Reference: Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts in the United States: Four Regional Scenarios (2015). S. Tegen, D. Keyser, F. Flores-Espino, J. Miles, D. Zammit, and D. Loomis. NREL/TP-5000-61315.

Link: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/61315.pdf

Offshore Energy by the Numbers, an Economic Analysis of Offshore Drilling and Wind Energy in the Atlantic

Resource type: Report

Description: Oceana, an international organization focused solely on protecting oceans, produced an analysis which finds that the economic benefits of offshore drilling in the Atlantic projected by the oil and gas industries appear to be exaggerated due to the inclusion of oil and gas resources that are not economically recoverable, thereby inflating the potential benefits. Industry estimates also rely upon an assumption of a state revenue-sharing system that does not exist. Oceana’s report also finds that offshore oil and gas development along the Atlantic could put at risk some of the nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in gross domestic product that rely on healthy ocean ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation. The report includes fact sheets for seven Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states including Georgia.

Reference: Andrew Menaquale (2015). Offshore Energy by the Numbers: An Economic Analysis of Offshore Drilling and Wind Energy in the Atlantic. Oceana.

Link: http://oceana.org/sites/default/files/offshore_energy_by_the_numbers_report_final.pdf

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of wave energy using GIS based analysis: The case study of Portugal

Resource type: Research article

Description: The main objective of this paper is to establish an economic modelling of wave energy through a Geographical Information System (GIS). Furthermore, this method has been tested for the particular case of the Portuguese coast. It determines the best sea areas to install wave energy converters in this region, using spatial analysis of the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE). Several economic parameters, as capital or O&M costs, have been considered. In addition, a sensitivity analysis has been performed by varying the discount rate in three different scenarios. Several types of physical restrictions have been taken into account: bathymetry, submarine electrical cables, seabed geology, environmental conditions, protected areas in terms of heritage, navigation areas, seismic fault lines, etc. Spatial operations have been carried out to complete the procedure, using Model Builder of GIS software. Results indicate the most suitable areas in economic terms in Portugal to install wave energy devices.

Reference: Laura Castro-Santos,, Geuffer Prado Garcia, Ana Estanqueiro, and Paulo A.P.S. Justino (2015). The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of wave energy using GIS based analysis: The case study of Portugal; International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems 66: 21-25.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0142061514005730

2014 Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis

Resource type: Report

Description: The objective of this report is to provide a comprehensive annual assessment of the U.S. offshore wind market.This 3rd annual report focuses on new developments that have occurred in 2014. The report provides stakeholders with a reliable and consistent data source addressing entry barriers and U.S. competitiveness in the offshore wind market. This report includes the following major sections:

  • Section 1: key data on developments in the offshore wind technology sector and the global development of offshore wind projects, with a focus on progress in the U.S.
  • Section 2: analysis of policy developments at the federal and state levels that have been effective in advancing offshore wind deployment in the U.S.
  • Section 3: analysis of actual and projected economic impact, including regional development and job creation
  • Section 4: analysis of developments in relevant sectors of the economy with the potential to affect offshore wind deployment in the U.S.

Reference: 2014 Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis (2014). Bruce Hamilton (Principal Investigator), Mark Bielecki, Charlie Bloch, Terese Decker, Lisa Frantzis, Kirsten Midura, Jay Paidipati, and Feng Zhao. Prepared by Navigant Consulting for the U.S. Department of Energy Document; Number DE-EE0005360.

Link: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/09/f18/2014%20Navigant%20Offshore%20Wind%20Market%20%26%20Economic%20Analysis.pdf

Tidal stream and wave power – a lot still to prove

Resource type: Press release (August 14, 2014)

Description: Bloomberg New Energy Finance has revised down its forecasts for global tidal stream and wave power deployment in 2020, by 11% and 72% respectively. While global installations of tidal stream and wave power are set to grow to 148MW and 21MW respectively by the end of this decade, this latest forecast represents a downward revision from the figures of 167 MW for tidal stream and 74 MW for wave that Bloomberg New Energy Finance published a year ago. The emergence of marine renewable energy technologies is taking longer than expected, due to a variety of reasons including the difficulty of deploying devices in marine environments.

Reference: Tidal stream and wave power – a lot still to prove (2014). Sarah Bryce. Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Link: http://about.bnef.com/press-releases/tidal-stream-wave-power-lot-still-prove/

U.S. Offshore Wind Manufacturing and Supply Chain Development

Resource type: Report

Description: The objective of the report is to provide an assessment of the domestic supply chain and manufacturing infrastructure supporting the U.S. offshore wind market. The report provides baseline information and develops a strategy for future development of the supply chain required to support projected offshore wind deployment levels. The report is intended for use by the following industry stakeholder groups: industry participants who seek baseline cost and supplier information for key component segments and the overall U.S. offshore wind market; federal, state, and local policymakers and economic development agencies, to assist in identifying policies with low effort and high impact; and current and potential domestic suppliers in the offshore wind market, in evaluating areas of opportunity and understanding requirements for participation.

Reference: U.S. Offshore Wind Manufacturing and Supply Chain Development (2012). Bruce Hamilton, Lindsay Battenberg, Mark Bielecki, Charlie Bloch, Terese Decker, Lisa Frantzis, Aris Karcanias, Birger Madsen, Jay Paidipati, Andy Wickless, Feng Zhao. Prepared by Navigant Consulting, Inc. for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program. Document number: DE-EE0005364.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/pdfs/us_offshore_wind_supply_chain_and_manufacturing_development.pdf

U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Technologies Office Funding in the United States: Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Projects (FY 2008-2012)

Resource type: Report

Description: From Fiscal Year 2008 to 2012, the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office provided research and development funding across eight broad areas: conventional hydropower projects; marine and hydrokinetic projects; offshore wind projects; wind turbine projects; wind integration projects; environmental impacts of wind projects; wind market acceptance projects; and wind workforce development projects. The breakdown of Wind and Water Power Technologies Office funding is presented in a series of reports that showcase the projects funded in each of the eight above mentioned areas.

Reference: U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Technologies Office Funding in the United States: Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Projects (FY 2008-2012) (2012). U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Technologies Office Funding in the United States: Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Projects.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/mhk_projects_2013.pdf

Offshore Wind Capital Cost Estimation in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf: a Reference Class Approach

Resource type: Research paper

Description: Offshore wind power developed rapidly in Northern Europe in the first decade of the 21st century and is expected to spread to Southern Europe, North America and Asia before 2020. To date, no projects have been built offshore North America because of the high development costs and economic risk and uncertain profitability. The purpose of this paper is to review the development cost of constructing offshore wind farms to inform the U.S. market. The capital expenditures of a reference class of 18 European wind farms constructed after 2005 with monopile foundations are normalized to proxy U.S. capital cost. Regression models are developed to investigate the physical features that influence expenditures. U.S. capital costs are expected to range between $4 and $5.6 million/megawatt for projects built between 2012 and 2015. Capital costs increase with increasing water depth and steel prices. For most farm components, capital expenditures are expected to be similar in Europe and the U.S., but the installation markets differ and this may impact the reliability of the reference class approach.

Reference: Offshore Wind Capital Cost Estimation in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf: a Reference Class Approach (2012). M.J. Kaiser and B. Snyder. Marine Policy, 36(5), 1112-1122.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X12000073

Collaborative Procurement of Offshore Wind Energy - A Buyers Network: Assessment of Merits and Approaches

Resource type: Report

Description This report examines and evaluates the issues, merits, and approaches relative to aggregated off-shore wind energy (OSW) procurement, implemented through a “buyers network” in order to assess if, and to what degree, a buyers network that allows creditworthy off-takers to collectively procure large volumes of energy generated from OSW could lower the cost of offshore wind. The report addresses (a) the benefits of a buyers network, including its potential effect in reducing the cost of OSW; (b) financial tools that can be used by the network to address OSW financing challenges; (c) potential approaches to implementing such a network; and (d) recommendations for the design of an effective procurement process. The report confirms the value of aggregated procurement in achieving significant cost reductions for OSW. The analysis indicates that the combination of aggregated procurement, low-cost financing, and use of the federal investment tax credits could result in an expected levelized cost of energy for OSW of $95 MWh (median value–with a range from $85-$120 MWh).

Reference: Collaborative Procurement of Offshore Wind Energy - A Buyers Network: Assessment of Merits and Approaches (2012). Mark Sinclair, Melissa Haugh, Baird Brown, and Carolyn Elephant. Prepared by Clean Energy States Alliance for the Offshore Wind Accelerator Project.

Link: http://www.cleanenergystates.org/assets/2012-Files/OSW/OWAP-Collaborative-Procurement-Report-September-2012.pdf
           

Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis, Annual Market Assessment

Resource type: Report

Description: This report is the first comprehensive annual assessment of the U.S. offshore wind market. The report provides stakeholders with a reliable and consistent data source addressing entry barriers and U.S. competitiveness in the offshore wind market. Major sections include: key data on the global development of offshore wind projects, with a particular focus on progress in the U.S.; analysis of developments in the offshore wind technology sector; analysis of policy developments at the federal and state levels that have been effective in advancing offshore wind deployment in the U.S.; analysis of actual and projected economic impact, including regional development and job creation; and analysis of developments in relevant sectors of the economy with the potential to affect offshore wind deployment in the U.S.

Reference: Offshore Market and Economic Analysis: Annual Market Assessment (2013). Lisa Frantzis, (Principal Investigator), Lindsay Battenberg, Mark Bielecki, Charlie Bloch, Terese Decker, Bruce Hamilton, Aris Karcanias, Birger Madsen, Jay Paidipati, Andy Wickless, and Feng Zhao. Prepared by Navigant Consulting for the U.S. Department of Energy Document; Number DE-EE0005360.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/pdfs/offshore_wind_market_and_economic_analysis.pdf

Environmental Considerations

Annex IV: Assessment of Environmental Effects and Monitoring Efforts for Ocean Wave, Tidal and Current Energy Systems

Resource type: Webpage

Description: The Annex IV international collaboration seeks to bring together information and practitioners on environmental effects of ocean wave, tidal, and current energy development. It also aims to facilitate efficient government oversight to ocean energy systems development by expanding baseline knowledge of environmental effects and monitoring methods. As part of Annex IV, the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed the online knowledge management system, Tethys, which broadcasts and archives webinars, expert forums, and workshops focused on issues critical to the siting and permitting of marine energy devices worldwide. The Annex released their State of the Science report in April this year, and also supports international conferences and events, focusing on new environmental research and data on interactions among marine animals, habitats, and marine energy devices.

Link: https://tethys.pnnl.gov/about-annex-iv

2016 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development around the World

Resource type: Annex IV report

Description: This report summarizes the state of the science of interactions and effects of marine renewable energy (MRE) devices on the marine environment, the animals that live there, and the habitats that support them. This report serves an update and complement to the 2013 Annex IV report that can be found at: http://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/final-annex-iv-report-2013.

The 2016 State of the Science report summarizes and places in context information about the environmental effects of MRE development, to the extent that the information is publicly available. As single device deployments continue and development of the first commercial arrays is on the horizon, several critical interactions between MRE devices and marine animals continue to concern regulators and stakeholders: collision, underwater sound, and electromagnetic fields.

Reference: Copping, A.; Sather, N.; Hanna, L.; Whiting, J.; Zydlewski, G.; Staines, G.; Gill, A.; Hutchison, I.; O'Hagan, A.; Simas, T.; Bald, J.; Sparling, C.; Wood, J.; Masden, E. (2016). Annex IV 2016 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World. pp 224.

You may download the State of the Science report, Executive Summary, and one page summaries, from the links below. 

 Brief Science Summaries:

 

Using kernel density estimation to explore habitat use by seabirds at a marine renewable wave energy test facility

Resource type: Research paper

Description: [Abstract] If Scottish Government targets are met, the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's electricity demand will be generated from renewable sources by 2020. There are several possible risks posed to seabirds from marine renewable energy installations (MREIs) and many knowledge gaps still exist around the extent to which seabird habitats can overlap with MREIs. In this study, underlying seasonal and interannual variation in seabird distributions was investigated using kernel density estimation (KDE) to identify areas of core habitat use. This allowed the potential interactions between seabirds and a wave energy converter (WEC) to be assessed. The distributions of four seabird species were compared between seasons, years, and in the presence and absence of WECs. Although substantial interannual variation existed in baseline years prior to WEC deployment, the KDEs for all four species analyzed were closer to the mooring points in the presence of a WEC in at least one season. The KDEs for all four species also increased in area in at least one season in the presence of a WEC. The KDEs of the northern fulmar and great skua overlapped the mooring points during spring in the presence of a device. The density of observations close to the mooring points increased for great skua, northern gannet, and northern fulmar during summer in the presence of a device. These results suggest that none of the four species analyzed have shown avoidance or an extreme change in distribution as a result of the presence of a WEC. The continued monitoring of seabirds during WEC deployments is necessary to provide further data on how distributions may change in response to the presence of WECs.

Reference: Using kernel density estimation to explore habitat use by seabirds at a marine renewable wave energy test facility (2016). Kirsty J. Lees, Andrew J. Guerin, and Elizabeth A. Masden. Marine Policy, 63:35–44; DOI:10.1016/j.marpol.2015.09.033.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X15002845

Wildlife Densities and Habitat Use across Temporal and Spatial Scales on the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (2012-2014)

Resource type: Report

Description: This study was intended to help address environmental barriers to offshore wind energy development in the mid-Atlantic region and promote the incorporation of environmental data into siting and permitting processes. The study goal was to provide regulators, developers, and other stakeholders with comprehensive baseline ecological data and analyses that could help address environmental permitting requirements for current and future projects, and would serve as a starting point for more site-specific studies. In particular, the study produced information that could be used to identify: 1) important wildlife areas, 2) data gaps, and 3) approaches for collecting and incorporating natural resource data into decision making. To address this goal, project funders and collaborators from a range of academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, federal agencies, foundations, and private companies came together to study bird, sea turtle, and marine mammal distributions, densities, and movements on the mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf between 2012 and 2014.

Reference: Williams K.A., Connelly E.E., Johnson S.M. and, Stenhouse I.J., [eds.] (2015). Wildlife Densities and Habitat Use across Temporal and Spatial Scales on the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf: Final Report to the Department of Energy EERE Wind & Water Power Technologies Office. Award Number: DE-EE0005362. Report BRI 2015-11, Biodiversity Research Institute, Portland, Maine.

Link: to the Executive Summary: http://www.briloon.org/uploads/BRI_Documents/Wildlife_and_Renewable_Energy/DOE%20Executive%20Summary%20-%20REVISED%20092515_clean_formatted.pdf

Can the North Sea Wind Boom And Seabird Colonies Coexist?

Resource type: Online article

Description: Offshore wind farms have been proliferating in the North Sea, with more huge projects planned. But conservationists are concerned this clean energy source could threaten seabird colonies that now thrive in the sea’s shallow waters.

Reference: Fred Pearce (2015). Can the North Sea Wind Boom And Seabird Colonies Coexist? Yale Environment 360 (April 28, 2015).

Link: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/can_the_north_sea_wind_boom_and_seabird_colonies_coexist/2869/

Sound exposure in harbour seals during the installation of an offshore wind farm: predictions of auditory damage

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Summary by authors] (1) With ambitious renewable energy targets, pile driving associated with offshore wind farm construction will become widespread in the marine environment. Many proposed wind farms overlap with the distribution of seals, and sound from pile driving has the potential to cause auditory damage. (2) We report on a behavioral study during the construction of a wind farm using data from GPS/GSM tags on 24 harbour seals Phoca vitulina L. Pile driving data and acoustic propagation models, together with seal movement and dive data, allowed the prediction of auditory damage in each seal. (3) Growth and recovery functions for auditory damage were combined to predict temporary auditory threshold shifts in each seal. Further, M-weighted cumulative sound exposure levels [cSELs(Mpw)] were calculated and compared to permanent auditory threshold shift exposure criteria for pinnipeds in water exposed to pulsed sounds. (4) The closest distance of each seal to pile driving varied from 47 to 405 km, and predicted maximum cSELs(Mpw) ranged from 1707 to 1953 dBre1lPa2-s for individual seals. Comparison to exposure criteria suggests that half of the seals exceeded estimated permanent auditory damage thresholds. (5) Prediction of auditory damage in marine mammals is a rapidly evolving field and has a number of key uncertainties associated with it. These include how sound propagates in shallow water environments and the effects of pulsed sounds on seal hearing; as such, our predictions should be viewed in this context. (6) Policy implications. We predicted that half of the tagged seals received sound levels from pile driving that exceeded auditory damage thresholds for pinnipeds. These results have implications for offshore industry and will be important for policymakers developing guidance for pile driving. Developing engineering solutions to reduce sound levels at source or methods to deter animals from damage risk zones, or changing temporal patterns of piling could potentially reduce auditory damage risk. Future work should focus on validating these predictions by collecting auditory threshold information pre- and post-exposure to pile driving. Ultimately, information on population-level impacts of exposure to pile driving is required to ensure that offshore industry is developed in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Reference: Sound exposure in harbour seals during the installation of an offshore wind farm: predictions of auditory damage (2015). Gordon D. Hastie, Deborah J.F. Russell, Bernie McConnell, Simon Moss, Dave Thompson and Vincent M. Janik. Journal of Applied Ecology 2015, 52, 631–640 doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12403

Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12403/pdf

Can the North Sea Wind Boom and Seabird Colonies Coexist?

Resource type: Online article

Description: Offshore wind farms have been proliferating in the North Sea, with more huge projects planned. But conservationists are concerned this clean energy source could threaten seabird colonies that now thrive in the sea’s shallow waters.

Reference: Fred Pearce. 2015. Can the North Sea Wind Boom and Seabird Colonies Coexist? Yale Environment 360 (April 28, 2015).

Link: http://e360.yale.edu/feature/can_the_north_sea_wind_boom_and_seabird_colonies_coexist/2869/

The cumulative impact of tidal stream turbine arrays on sediment transport in the Pentland Firth

Resource type: Research paper

Description: [Abstract] This contribution investigates the impact of the deployment of tidal stream turbine arrays on sediment dynamics and seabed morphology in the Pentland Firth, Scotland. The Pentland Firth is arguably the premier tidal stream site in the world and engineering developments are progressing rapidly. Therefore understanding and minimizing impacts is vital to ensure the successful development of this nascent industry. Here a three dimensional coupled hydrodynamic and sediment transport numerical model is used to investigate the impact on sediment transport and morphodynamics of tidal stream arrays. The aim of the work presented here is twofold: firstly to provide prediction of the changes caused by multiple tidal stream turbine array developments to some of the unique sandy seabed environments in the Pentland Firth and secondly as a case study to determine the relationship between impacts of individual tidal stream farms and cumulative impacts of multiple farms. Due to connectivity in tidal flow it has been hypothesized that the cumulative impact of multiple arrays on sediment dynamics might be non-linear. This work suggests that, for the Pentland Firth, this is not the case: the cumulative impact of the four currently proposed arrays in the area is equal to the sum of the impacts of the individual arrays. Additionally, array implementation only has minimal effect on the baseline morphodynamics of the large sandbanks in the region, smaller more local sandbanks were not considered. These two results are extremely positive for tidal stream developers in the region since it removes the burden of assessing cumulative impact from individual developers and suggests that impacts to sub-sea morphodynamics is insignificant and hence is unlikely to be an impediment to development in the Pentland Firth with the currently proposed levels of extraction.

Reference: The cumulative impact of tidal stream turbine arrays on sediment transport in the Pentland Firth (2015). I. Fairley, I. Masters, and H. Karunarathna. Renewable Energy 80: 755 – 769.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096014811500186X

Environmental issues associated with wind energy – A review

Resource type: Research paper

Description: [Abstract] Recognized as one of the most mature renewable energy technologies, wind energy has been developing rapidly in recent years. Many countries have shown interest in utilizing wind power, but they are concerned about the environmental impacts of the wind farms. The continuous growth of the wind energy industry in many parts of the world, especially in some developing countries and ecologically vulnerable regions, necessitates a comprehensive understanding of wind farm induced environmental impacts. The environmental issues caused by wind farms were reviewed in this paper by summarizing existing studies. Available mitigation measures to minimize these adverse environmental impacts were discussed in this document. The intention of this paper is to provide state-of-the-art knowledge about environmental issues associated with wind energy development as well as strategies to mitigate environmental impacts to wind energy planners and developers.

Reference: Environmental issues associated with wind energy – A review (2015). Kaoshan Dai, Anthony Bergot, Chao Liang, Wei-Ning Xiang, and Zhenhua Huang; Renewable Energy 75: 911–921.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148114007149

Dark green electricity comes from the sea: Capitalizing on ecological merits of offshore wind power?

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] European consumers are willing to pay more for “green” electricity, as they highly value renewable energy sources for the contribution to combating climate change. There is a push for getting higher levels of sustainability, leading to a differentiation of Europe‘s electricity market. In this differentiation, the large potential of wind energy is recognized. More specifically, North Sea countries prefer to plan wind arrays (far) out at sea. This article offers a review of the main arguments for offshore wind energy, described in comparison with its onshore counterpart. It is stated that offshore wind farms (OWFs) generate “dark green” electricity as they mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the protection of (some) marine life. Applying an informational governance framework, this article further assesses whether this dark green message has been exploited through further differentiation of the electricity market, and provides an analysis of why this is not (yet) the case. It is concluded that the dominant discourse in onshore wind power development hinders a favorable ecological differentiation toward offshore wind power.

Reference: Dark green electricity comes from the sea: Capitalizing on ecological merits of offshore wind power? (2015). Hilde M. Toonen, and Han J. Lindeboom; Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 42:1023–1033.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032114008685

Great skua (Stercorarius skua) movements at sea in relation to marine renewable energy developments

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] Marine renewable energy developments (MREDs) are an increasing feature of the marine environment. Owing to the relatively small number of existing developments and the early stage of their associated environmental monitoring programs, the effects of MREDs on seabirds are not fully known. Our ability to fully predict potential effects is limited by a lack of knowledge regarding movements of seabirds at sea. We used GPS tracking to improve our understanding of the movements at sea of a protected seabird species breeding in Scotland, the great skua (Stercorarius skua), to better predict how this species may be affected by MREDs. We found that the overlap of great skuas with leased and proposed MREDs was low; particularly with offshore wind sites, which are predicted to present a greater risk to great skuas than wave or tidal-stream developments. Failed breeders overlapped with larger areas of MREDs than breeding birds but the overall overlap with core areas used remained low. Overlap with wave energy development sites was greater than for offshore wind and tidal-stream sites. Comparison of 2011 data with historical data indicates that distances travelled by great skuas have likely increased over recent decades. This suggests that basing marine spatial planning decisions on short-term tracking data could be less informative than longer-term data.

Reference: Great skua (Stercorarius skua) movements at sea in relation to marine renewable energy developments (2014). H.M. Wade, E.A. Masden, A.C. Jackson, C.B. Thaxter, N.H.K. Burton, W. Bouten, R.W. Furness; Marine Environmental Research 101: 69–80.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014111361400155X

Assessing environmental impacts of offshore wind farms: lessons learned and recommendations for the future

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] Offshore wind power provides a valuable source of renewable energy that can help reduce carbon emissions. Technological advances are allowing higher capacity turbines to be installed and in deeper water, but there is still much that is unknown about the effects on the environment. Here we describe the lessons learned based on the recent literature and our experience with assessing impacts of offshore wind developments on marine mammals and seabirds, and make recommendations for future monitoring and assessment as interest in offshore wind energy grows around the world. The four key lessons learned that we discuss are: 1) Identifying the area over which biological effects may occur to inform baseline data collection and determining the connectivity between key populations and proposed wind energy sites, 2) The need to put impacts into a population level context to determine whether they are biologically significant, 3) Measuring responses to wind farm construction and operation to determine disturbance effects and avoidance responses, and 4) Learn from other industries to inform risk assessments and the effectiveness of mitigation measures. As the number and size of offshore wind developments increases, there will be a growing need to consider the population level consequences and cumulative impacts of these activities on marine species. Strategically targeted data collection and modeling aimed at answering questions for the consenting process will also allow regulators to make decisions based on the best available information, and achieve a balance between climate change targets and environmental legislation.

Reference: Assessing environmental impacts of offshore wind farms: lessons learned and recommendations for the future (2014). Helen Bailey, Kate L Brookes, and Paul M Thompson; Aquatic Biosystems 10:8. 

Link: http://www.aquaticbiosystems.org/content/10/1/8

Marine Renewable Energy: A Global Review of the Extent of Marine Renewable Energy Developments, the Developing Technologies and Possible Conservation Implications for Cetaceans

Resource type: Report

Description: There is currently an unprecedented expansion of marine renewable energy developments (MREDs), focused on European waters, with large-scale developments covering thousands of square kilometers being planned. This research highlights the rapid expansion of  MREDs, particularly in Europe, and more recently in China and off the east coast of the U.S. This report highlights the fact that the impact assessment process is currently based on only very limited knowledge on both cetacean populations and the impacts of MREDS on the marine environment.

Reference: Marine Renewable Energy: A Global Review of the Extent of Marine Renewable Energy Developments, the Developing Technologies and Possible Conservation Implications for Cetaceans (2013). Vicki James; Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Link: http://uk.whales.org/sites/default/files/wdc-marine-renewable-energy-report.pdf

Negative long term effects on harbor porpoises from a large scale offshore wind farm in the Baltic—evidence of slow recovery

Resource type: Research paper

Description: Offshore wind farms constitute a new and fast growing industry all over the world. This study investigates the long term impact on harbor porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, for more than 10 years (2001–12) from the first large scale offshore wind farm in the world, Nysted Offshore Wind Farm, in the Danish western Baltic Sea. The wind farm was brought into full operation in December 2003. At six stations, acoustic porpoise detectors (T-PODs) were placed inside the wind farm area and at a reference area 10 km to the east, to monitor porpoise echolocation activity as a proxy of porpoise presence. A modified statistical BACI design was applied to detect changes in porpoise presence before, during and after construction of the wind farm. The results show that the echolocation activity has significantly declined inside Nysted Offshore Wind Farm since the baseline in 2001–2 and has not fully recovered yet. The echolocation activity inside the wind farm has been gradually increasing (from 11% to 29% of the baseline level) since the construction of the wind farm, possibly due to habituation of the porpoises to the wind farm or enrichment of the environment due to reduced fishing and to artificial reef effects.

Reference: Negative long term effects on harbor porpoises from a large scale offshore wind farm in the Baltic—evidence of slow recovery (2012). Jonas Teilmann and Jacob Carstensen; Environ. Res. Lett. 7:10.

Link: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/045101/pdf/1748-9326_7_4_045101.pdf

Effects of pile-driving on harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) at the first offshore wind farm in Germany

Resource type: Research paper

Description: The first offshore wind farm in the German North Sea was constructed approximately 45 km off the German coast in 2008-2009 using percussive piling for the foundations of 12 wind turbines. From 2008 to 2010, visual monitoring of harbor porpoises was conducted prior and during construction and operation by means of a sampling survey using 15 aerial line transect distances. Additionally, static acoustic monitoring (SAM) with echolocation click loggers at 12 positions was performed. During aerial surveys, 18,600 km of transect lines were covered in two survey areas and 1392 harbor porpoise sightings were recorded. Lowest densities were documented during the construction period in 2009. The spatial distribution pattern recorded on two aerial surveys three weeks before and exactly during pile-driving points towards a strong avoidance response within 20 km distance of the noise source. Modeling of the SAM data showed a negative impact of pile-driving on relative porpoise detection rates at eight positions at distances less than 10.8 km. Increased detection rates were found at two positions at 25 and 50 km distance suggesting that porpoises were displaced towards these positions. A pile-driving related behavioral reaction could thus be detected using SAM at a much larger distance than a pure avoidance radius would suggest.

Reference: Effects of pile-driving on harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) at the first offshore wind farm in Germany (2013). Michael Dahne, Anita Gilles, Klaus Lucke, Verena Peschko, Sven Adler, Kathrin Krugel, Janne Sundermeyer, and Ursula Siebert; Environ. Res. Lett. 8:16.

Link: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/025002/pdf/1748-9326_8_2_025002.pdf

Effects of offshore wind farms on marine wildlife—a generalized impact assessment

Resource type: Research paper

Description: Globally, marine management plans express high expectations for the development of offshore wind energy. However, marine renewable energy production creates potential conflicts with other uses of the marine landscape, as well as conservation interests. The present study synthesizes the current state of understanding on the effects of offshore wind farms on marine wildlife, in order to identify general versus local conclusions in published studies. The results were translated into a generalized impact assessment for coastal waters in Sweden, which covers a range of salinity conditions from marine to nearly fresh waters. Hence, the conclusions are potentially applicable to marine planning situations in various aquatic ecosystems. The assessment considered impact with respect to temporal and spatial extent of the pressure, effect within each ecosystem component, and level of certainty. Research on the environmental effects of offshore wind farms has gone through a rapid maturation and learning process, with the bulk of knowledge being developed within the past ten years. The studies showed a high level of consensus with respect to the construction phase, indicating that potential impacts on marine life should be carefully considered in marine spatial planning. Potential impacts during the operational phase were more locally variable, and could be either negative or positive depending on biological conditions as well as prevailing management goals. There was paucity in studies on cumulative impacts and long-term effects on the food web, as well as on combined effects with other human activities, such as fisheries. These aspects remain key open issues for sustainable marine spatial planning.

Reference: Effects of offshore wind farms on marine wildlife—a generalized impact assessment (2014). Lena Bergström, Lena Kautsky, Torleif Malm, Rutger Rosenberg, Magnus Wahlberg, Nastassja Åstrand Capetillo and Dan Wilhelmsson; Environ. Res. Lett. 9:12.

Link: http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/3/034012/pdf/1748-9326_9_3_034012.pdf

A spatial conservation prioritization approach for protecting marine birds given proposed offshore wind energy development

Resource type: Research paper

Description: There are currently no offshore wind energy developments (OWEDs) in North America, although numerous OWEDs have been proposed along the Atlantic Coast. Development pressure has been a catalyst for marine spatial planning (MSP) to identify suitable areas for OWEDs. However, integrating complex ecological information to guide OWED siting remains a substantial challenge. The authors developed spatial distribution models of marine birds from aerial surveys that were conducted from 2010 to 2012 throughout a 3,800 km2 area off the coast of Rhode Island. For seven groups of marine birds, they constructed either a density surface model or a presence–absence model that incorporated relevant environmental covariates. They integrated the spatial models, along with uncertainty, using spatial conservation prioritization (SCP) software. This identified sites with high marine bird conservation priority that aided evaluation of proposed OWED sites. The authors found that shallow nearshore waters had the highest conservation priority overall, but they also detected key offshore areas of high priority. Hypothetical OWEDs placed in conservation priority areas significantly reduced the overall distribution of focal species. Currently proposed OWED sites are located in areas of relatively low conservation priority and so would not substantially reduce the overall distribution of marine birds. This SCP approach when combined with quantitative models of bird distribution given relevant environmental covariates provides a robust framework that satisfies the principles of ecosystem-based MSP. Thus, this combined SCP-distribution modeling framework should be extremely helpful to decision makers as they evaluate proposed siting locations of OWEDs in the context of a dynamic marine system.

Reference: A spatial conservation prioritization approach for protecting marine birds given proposed offshore wind energy development (2014). Kristopher J. Winiarski, David L. Miller, Peter W.C. Paton, Scott R. McWilliams; Biological Conservation 169:79-88.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320713003832

Potential Impacts of Hydrokinetic and Wave Energy Conversion Technologies on Aquatic Environments

Resource type: Report

Description: A new generation of hydropower technologies, the kinetic hydro and wave energy conversion devices, offers the possibility of generating electricity from the movements of water, without the need for dams and diversions. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 encouraged the development of these sources of renewable energy in the United States, and there is growing interest in deploying them globally. The technologies that would extract electricity from free-flowing streams, estuaries, and oceans have not been widely tested. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Energy convened a workshop to (1) identify the varieties of hydrokinetic energy and wave energy conversion devices and their stages of development, (2) identify where these technologies can best operate, (3) identify the potential environmental issues associated with these technologies and possible mitigation measures, and (4) develop a list of research needs and/or practical solutions to address unresolved environmental issues. We review the results of that workshop, focusing on potential effects on freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems, and we describe recent national and international developments.

Reference: Potential Impacts of Hydrokinetic and Wave Energy Conversion Technologies on Aquatic Environments (2007). Glenn Cada, James Ahlgrimm, Michael Bahleda, Tom Bigford, Stefanie Damiani Stavrakas, Douglas Hall, Russell Moursund, and Michael Sale. Fisheries 32(4): 174-181.

Link: http://hydropower.inel.gov/hydrokinetic_wave/pdfs/cada_fisheries_reprint.pdf

Proceedings of the Hydrokinetic and Wave Energy Technologies Technical and Environmental Issues Workshop

Resource type: Report

Description: Renewable energy technologies offer the promise of non-polluting alternatives to fossil and nuclear-fueled power plants to meet growing demand for electrical energy. Two emerging categories of renewable energy technologies, hydrokinetic and wave energy conversion devices, offer ways to tap the energy of moving water without impoundment (dams) or diversion required by many conventional hydroelectric facilities. These technologies include devices designed for deployment in natural streams, tidal estuaries, ocean currents, and constructed waterways, as well as devices designed to capture the energy of ocean waves. On 26-28 October 2005, 54 representatives from government, non-governmental organizations, and private business met to:

• Identify the varieties of hydrokinetic energy and wave technology devices, their stages of development, and the projected cost to bring each to market;

• Identify where these technologies can best operate;

• Identify the potential environmental issues associated with these technologies and possible mitigation measures; and

• Develop a list of research needs and/or practical solutions to address unresolved environmental issues.

These Workshop Proceedings include detailed summaries of the presentations made and the discussions that followed.

Reference: Proceedings of the Hydrokinetic and Wave Energy Technologies Technical and Environmental Issues Workshop (2006). Washington, DC. October 26-28, 2005. Susan Savitt Schwartz (ed). Prepared by RESOLVE, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Link: http://hydropower.inel.gov/hydrokinetic_wave/pdfs/hydro_workshop_proceedings.pdf

The Environmental Interactions of Tidal and Wave Energy Generation Devices

Resource type: Research article

Description: (Abstract) Global energy demand continues to grow and tidal and wave energy generation devices can provide a significant source of renewable energy. Technological developments in offshore engineering and the rising cost of traditional energy means that offshore energy resources will be economic in the next few years. While there is now a growing body of data on the ecological impacts of offshore wind farms, the scientific basis on which to make informed decisions about the environmental effects of other offshore energy developments is lacking. Tidal barrages have the potential to cause significant ecological impacts particularly on bird feeding areas when they are constructed at coastal estuaries or bays. Offshore tidal stream energy and wave energy collectors offer the scope for developments at varying scales. They also have the potential to alter habitats. A diversity of designs exist, including floating, mid-water column and seabed mounted devices, with a variety of moving-part configurations resulting in a unique complex of potential environmental effects for each device type, which are discussed to the extent possible.

Reference: The Environmental Interactions of Tidal and Wave Energy Generation Devices (2012). C. Frid, E. Andonegi, J. Depestele, A. Judd, D. Rihan, S.I. Rogers, E. Kenchington. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 32, 133-139.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019592551100076X

Assessing the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Wind Power: a Review of Present Knowledge and Research Needs

Resource type: Research paper

Description: (Abstract) In this paper, the authors critically review present knowledge of the life cycle environmental impacts of wind power. They found that the current body of life cycle assessments (LCA) of wind power provides a fairly good overall understanding of fossil energy use and associated pollution; suggesting good environmental performance vis-à-vis fossil-based power. Total emissions of onshore and offshore wind farms are comparable. The bulk of emissions generally occur in the production of components; onshore, the wind turbine dominates, while offshore, the substructure becomes relatively more important. Strong positive effects of scale are present in the lower end of the turbine size spectrum, but there is no clear evidence for such effects for megawatt-sized units. The authors identify weaknesses and gaps in knowledge that future research may address. This includes poorly understood impacts in categories of toxicity and resource depletion, lack of empirical basis for assumptions about replacement of parts, and apparent lack of detailed considerations of offshore operations for wind farms in ocean waters.

Reference: Assessing the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Wind Power: A Review of Present Knowledge and Research Needs (2012). A. Arvesen and E.G. Hertwich. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 16(8), 5994-6006.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032112004169

Environmental Effects of Hydrokinetic Turbines on Fish: Desktop and Laboratory Flume Studies

Resource type: Report

Description: A primary issue of concern of regulatory and resource agencies is how the operation of hydrokinetic turbines will affect local and migratory fish populations. In particular, two major concerns are the potential for fish to be killed or injured if they pass through one or more turbines and the potential for fish movements and migrations to be disrupted or blocked if fish are reluctant or unwilling to move past operating turbines. Fish that pass through hydrokinetic turbines may be injured or killed due to blade strike or damaging hydraulic shear and/or pressure conditions. This collection of three reports describes desktop and laboratory flume studies that provide information to support assessment of the potential for injury and mortality of fish that encounter hydrokinetic turbines of various designs installed in tidal and river environments. Behavioral responses to turbine exposure also are investigated to support assessment of the potential for disruptions to upstream and downstream movements of fish.

Reference: Environmental Effects of Hydrokinetic turbines on Fish: Desktop and Laboratory Flume Studies (2012). Paul T. Jacobson, Stephen V. Amaral, Theodore Castro-Santos, Dan Giza, Alexander J. Haro, George Hecker, Brian McMahon, Norman Perkins, and Nick Pioppi. Prepared for the Electric Power Research Institute by the Alden Research Laboratory.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/epri_turbine_effects_on_fish_2012.pdf

Marine Hydrokinetic Turbine Technology and the Environment: Device-biota Interactions

Resource type: Research paper

Description: (Abstract) Because marine hydrokinetic turbine technologies are still in their infancy, their impacts on the environment remain largely unknown. This paper discusses fish, mammal, bird, and benthic organism interactions with marine hydrokinetic devices and other man-made structures that may be analogous to these marine hydrokinetic technologies. In experiments conducted on the Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 2, the survival of several species of small and large fish that passed through a marine hydrokinetic turbine was 99%. No data on mammal, sea turtle, or bird interactions with marine hydrokinetic turbines were available, but other types of anthropogenic mortality and traumatic injuries to these groups of animals have been well documented. Collisions with ships and fishing gear have greatly impacted most groups of marine mammals. Large whales that inhabit shallow coastal waters and diving birds that use sight to pursue prey underwater are at risk for collision. However, many devices have a positive impact on fish or benthic organism populations because they act as fish aggregation devices or artificial reefs.

Reference: Marine hydrokinetic turbine technology and the environment: Device-biota interactions (2010). S.H. Crevison, Ye Li, and R. Thresher; Oceans 2010, 20-23 September 2010, Seattle, Washington. Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; NREL Report No. CP-500-49003.

Link: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleDetails.jsp?arnumber=5664055

Environmental and Human Dimensions of Ocean Renewable Energy Development

Resource type: Research paper

Description: (Abstract) A number of review articles have synthesized current expert opinion regarding interactions of ocean energy generation technologies with environmental parameters and their potential effects and impacts. Fewer articles have documented such interactions, as operational devices and/or demonstration sites at which to make such observations are limited. This paper discusses how the perceived risk or impact of ocean renewable energy development on coastal communities (both human and marine biological) is a function not only of actual physical interactions but also depends on the regulatory environment and how potentially impacted coastal resources are valued by stakeholders. In this paper, the authors review potential environmental effects of ocean energy, identify applicable federal regulations that address potentially affected ecological components, and highlight observations about stakeholder concerns from experiences in Oregon. Understanding the societal lens through which potential environmental effects are viewed is important for developers to move forward as it will be the regulators and local communities who will determine if projects are permitted.

Reference: Environmental and Human Dimensions of Ocean Renewable Energy Development (2013). S. Henkel, F. Conway, and G. Boehlert. Proceedings of the IEEE, 101(4), 991-998.

Link: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6461907

Environmental Effects of Marine Energy Development around the World

Resource type: Report

Description: This report contains three case studies of specific interactions of marine energy devices with the marine environment that survey, compile, and analyze the best available information in one coherent location. These case studies address 1) the physical interactions between animals and tidal turbines; 2) the acoustic impact of marine energy devices on marine animals; and 3) the effects of energy removal on physical systems. Each case study contains a description of environmental monitoring efforts and research studies, lessons learned, and analysis of remaining information gaps.

Reference: Environmental Effects of Marine Energy Development around the World (2013). A. Copping, L. Hanna, J. Whiting, S. Geerlofs, M. Grear, K. Blake, A. Coffey, M. Massaua, J. Brown-Saracino, and H. Battey; A report prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the Ocean Energy Systems Initiative for the OES Annex IV.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/pdfs/annex_iv_report.pdf#page=6&zoom=auto,0,431

International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems Initiative – Annex IV

Resource type: Webpage

Description: The Ocean Energy System (OES) brings countries together to advance research, development and demonstration of conversion technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources, such as tides, waves, currents, temperature gradient, and salinity gradient for electricity generation, as well as for other uses, through international cooperation and information exchange. The OES currently consists of 20 member countries including the U.S. Annex IV is an OES project designed to examine the environmental effects of marine energy devices among countries. The U.S. Department of Energy serves as the Operating Agent for the Annex, in partnership with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The purpose of Annex IV is to facilitate efficient government oversight of the development of ocean energy systems by compiling and disseminating information about the potential environmental effects of marine energy technologies and to identify methods of monitoring for these effects.

Link: http://www.ocean-energy-systems.org/about_oes/

Tethys Database

Resource type: Database

Description: Tethys is a publicly available searchable online database of environmental effects information developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to support the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Program. It houses scientific literature pertaining to the environmental effects of marine energy systems, as well as metadata on international ocean energy projects and research studies. The primary function of Tethys is to facilitate data sharing and the exchange of information on the environmental effects of marine hydrokinetic and offshore wind technology. In addition to the Knowledge Base, Tethys supports a Map Viewer website which compiles documents, U.S. permitting sites, and international project sites and research studies that are associated with a geographic location. This view allows panning and zooming, while results can be narrowed by keyword searches.

Link to Knowledge Base: http://mhk.pnnl.gov/wiki/index.php/Knowledge_Base

Link to Map Viewer: http://mhk.pnnl.gov/wiki/index.php/Map_Viewer

Atlantic Geological and Geophysical Activities Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Resource type: Document and related EIS review comments

Description: March 28, 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau announced the release of the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) assessing the conventional and renewable energy resource potential in the Mid- and South-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf planning areas as well as the potential impacts of the exploration and development of these resources. The draft PEIS will help inform future decisions about whether, and if so where, offshore energy leasing would be appropriate in these areas. assessing energy resource potential in the Mid- and South-Atlantic.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/oil-and-gas-energy-program/GOMR/GandG.aspx

Related documents are also available in the Federal Register at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/public-inspection/index.html.

Climate and Energy-Water-Land System Interactions

Resource type: Document

Description: This report provides a framework to characterize and understand the important elements of climate and energy-water-land (EWL) system interactions. It identifies many of the important issues, discusses our understanding of those issues, and presents a long-term research program research needs to address the priority scientific challenges and gaps in our understanding. Much of the discussion is organized around two discrete case studies with the broad themes of (1) extreme events and (2) regional intercomparisons. These case studies help demonstrate unique ways in which energy-water-land interactions can occur and be influenced by climate.

Reference: Climate and Energy-Water-Land System Interactions:  Technical Report to the U.S. Department of Energy in Support of the National Climate Assessment. R. Skaggs, K.A Hibbard, P. Frumhoff, T. Lowry, R. Middleton, R. Pate, V.C. Tidwell, J.G. Arnold, K. Averyt, A.C. Janetos, R.C. Izaurralde, J.S. Rice, and S.K. Rose (2012). Report No. PNNL-21185, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA.

Link: http://www.pnnl.gov/publications/abstracts.asp?report=404278

Policy

Regulating wave and tidal energy: An industry perspective on the Scottish marine governance framework

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] The emerging ocean energy industry, which seeks to utilize waves and tides to generate electricity, is developing in many jurisdictions. The UK, and Scotland in particular, is strongly interested in these technologies, and has made considerable efforts to reform its marine governance processes to better meet the needs of innovative new marine industries. This paper provides an industry perspective on this regulatory framework, reporting on the experiences of ocean energy project and technology developers. Semi-structured interviews with companies with practical experience with Scotland's regulatory framework provide evidence of a number of legal and regulatory challenges, as well as interesting insights into how developers are interacting with new marine governance systems. The paper details the findings of these interviews and offers some suggested directions for future research.

Reference: Glen Wright (2016). Regulating wave and tidal energy: An industry perspective on the Scottish marine governance framework. Marine Policy 65: 115-126.

Link: http://ac.els-cdn.com/S0308597X1500384X/1-s2.0-S0308597X1500384X-main.pdf?_tid=0b6d9f52-e249-11e5-b26d-00000aacb362&acdnat=1457124085_55229040f122100d93f7172de131b740

Engaging Communities in Offshore Wind: Case Studies and Lessons Learned from New England Islands

Resource type: Report

Description: With several offshore wind farms currently under consideration off the U.S. Atlantic seaboard, offshore wind has the potential to be an abundant source of renewable, low-carbon electricity. Island communities throughout New England are leading the way in developing effective approaches for engaging with offshore wind developers. The report highlights key insights for designing good community engagement processes and demonstrates these best practices through case studies from Block Island (Rhode Island), Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts), and Monhegan (Maine).

Reference: Sarah Klain, Suzanne MacDonald, and Nicholas Battista (2015).  Engaging Communities in Offshore Wind: Case Studies and Lessons Learned from New England Islands. Island Institute, Rockland, ME.

Link: http://www.islandinstitute.org/sites/default/files/EngagingCommunitiesOffshoreWind_2015_web.pdf

Establishing a legal research agenda for ocean energy

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] The literature on ocean energy has, to date, largely focused on technical, environmental, and, increasingly, social and political aspects. Legal and regulatory factors have received far less attention, despite their importance in supporting this new technology and ensuring its sustainable development. Building on the social sciences research agenda developed by the International network for Social Studies of Marine Energy (ISSMER) and published in Energy Policy, a complementary agenda for legal research linked to ocean energy was set out. Key directions for future research structured around the core themes of marine governance: (i) international law; (ii) environmental impacts; (iii) rights and ownership; (iv) consenting processes; and (v) management of marine space and resources were identified.

Reference: Establishing a legal research agenda for ocean energy (2015). Glen Wright, Anne O’Hagan, Jiska de Groot, Yannick Leroy, Niko Soininen, Rachael Salcido, Montserrat Castelos, Simon Jude, Julien Rochette, Sandy Kerr. Marine Policy 63:126-134, doi 10.1016/j.marpol.2015.09.030.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X1500281X

FACT SHEET: White House Summit on Offshore Wind

Resource type: Research article

Description: On September 28, 2015, the White House hosted the Summit on Offshore Wind, a gathering of leading federal, state and industry stakeholders committed to the long-term and sustainable development of offshore wind in the US. By 2030, offshore wind is projected to supply 22,000 megawatts of clean and abundant energy to cities and communities in America enough to power 4.5 million homes.
In addition, the White House is announcing the following actions in support of the development of offshore wind:

  • Establish a White House Interagency Working Group on Offshore Wind
  • Facilitate State Collaboration in the Northeast
  • Establish an International Offshore Wind Regulators Forum
  • BOEM Lease Auctions in North Carolina and New Jersey
  • Update the National Offshore Wind Strategy

Link: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/28/fact-sheet-white-house-summit-offshore-wind

The factors affecting stakeholders' acceptance of offshore wind farms along the western coast of Taiwan: Evidence from stakeholders' perceptions

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] Stakeholder participation is an important concept in marine environmental management; thus, their acceptance and opinions might influence policy decision making and effectiveness. This paper explores the factors that affect stakeholders' (traditional ocean users, including fishers and aquaculture farmers) acceptance and conducts an empirical analysis to determine the relationship among stakeholders' perceptions and acceptance. A total of 238 respondents completed a survey that was conducted in six coastal counties in western Taiwan. We used principle component analysis and two logistic regression models for the analysis: one model does not consider perception factors, while the other model estimates perception factors. The empirical results reveal that three perception factors related to the benefits of offshore wind farms significantly affect stakeholders' acceptance. Furthermore, the explanatory power, goodness-of-fit, and the predicted probability are greater when perception factors are considered in the logistic model. As a result, stakeholders' perceptions are important factors that influence their acceptance of OWFs along the western coast of Taiwan. According to our findings, recommendations are offered to resolve the user conflicts regarding OWF turbine construction and operation, including (1) communicating effectively and integrating stakeholder participation and (2) offering benefits to ocean users and local communities.

Reference: The factors affecting stakeholders' acceptance of offshore wind farms along the western coast of Taiwan: Evidence from stakeholders' perceptions (2015). Jyun-Long Chen, Hsiang-Hsi Liu, Ching-Ta Chuang, and Hsueh-Jung Lu; Ocean and Coastal Management 109: 40–50.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569115000599

Marine governance in an industrialized ocean: A case study of the emerging marine renewable energy industry

Resource type: Research article

Description: [Abstract] The world’s oceans are currently undergoing an unprecedented period of industrialization, made possible by advances in technology and driven by our growing need for food, energy and resources. This is placing the oceans are under intense pressure, and the ability of existing marine governance frameworks to sustainably manage the marine environment is increasingly being called into question. Emerging industries are challenging all aspects of these frameworks, raising questions regarding ownership and rights of the sea and its resources, management of environmental impacts, and management of ocean space. This paper uses the emerging marine renewable energy (MRE) industry, particularly in the United Kingdom (UK), as a case study to introduce and explore some of the key challenges. The paper concludes that the challenges are likely to be extensive and argues for development of a comprehensive legal research agenda to advance both MRE technologies and marine governance frameworks.

Reference: Glen Wright (2015). Marine governance in an industrialized ocean: A case study of the emerging marine renewable energy industry; Marine Policy 52: 77–84.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X14002838

Encouraging renewable energy in the offshore environment

Resource type: Research paper

Description: (Abstract) Traditionally, offshore energy exploitation has occurred through production of fossil fuels. However, increasing attention is being focused on various forms of offshore renewable energy as it can reduce fossil fuel emissions, create green jobs, lead to local economic returns for coastal communities, and facilitate movement towards a low-carbon economy. Recent research indicates the presence of significant offshore energy in the form of winds, waves, currents, and tides. Spurred by the promising potential of these resources and an improving policy environment, efforts are under way in different offshore areas to assess resource potential, examine various technical approaches, and install renewable energy devices. Obstacles to development of this industry remain, and include technical difficulties, potential environmental impacts, and lack of funding. These obstacles must be overcome before the industry can become a viable alternative to carbon-based energy sources. Policy alternatives to overcome these obstacles, to stimulate offshore renewable energy development, and to level the playing field for these resources are discussed.

Reference: Encouraging renewable energy in the offshore environment (2014). Joseph Appiott, Amardeep Dhanju, and Biliana Cicin-Sain, Ocean and Coastal Management 90: 58-64.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0964569113002585?np=y

Permitting, Risk and Marine Hydrokinetic Energy Development

Resource type: Research paper

Description: (Abstract) The existing permitting process places significant burdens on MHK testing and prototyping that are significant impediments to technological progress. These permitting processes do not adequately consider the reduced risk from the very small physical scale of current projects, and are also influenced by the sheer uncertainty associated with novel technologies. A more nuanced application of the precautionary principle in applying biodiversity protection statutes to permitting MHK devices is warranted.

Reference:Lindsay Dubbs, Andrew G. Keeler, and Theresa O’Meara (2013). Permitting, Risk and Marine Hydrokinetic Energy Development; The Electricity Journal, 26(10):64-74.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040619013002601

Research for the Sustainable Development of Tidal Power in Maine

Resource type: Research paper

Description: Tidal-power development presents technical, environmental, and social challenges. This paper discusses how the Maine Tidal Power Initiative is working to develop a cooperative framework that integrates stakeholders, developers, and policy makers for a pilot project currently underway in Maine. The authors found that better information conveyed to the general public, especially to local community members, is key to allowing productive dialogue and decision making about the risks and benefits of tidal power.

Reference: Research for the Sustainable Development of Tidal Power in Maine (2012). T. Johnson, and G.B. Zydlewski. Maine Policy Review, 21(1): 58-65.

Link: http://www.umaine.edu/sustainabilitysolutions/resources/MPR_pdf/7-Johnson.pdf

Found in the Wind: The Value of Early Consultation and Collaboration with Other Ocean Users for Successful Offshore Wind Development

Resource type: Law review article

Description: This law review article discusses the intersection of ocean regulatory and management initiatives and offshore wind development. It explains how the government and the private sector can work together in informed, open, inclusive management processes in offshore wind development, which helps revitalize working waterfronts. The article reviews Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) with offshore wind energy development and the role of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE). It discusses the complex environmental rulemaking and review process, and the legal requirements for Wind Energy Areas (WEA) and individual projects. Finally, the authors provide recommendations of how the different governmental bodies can work with offshore wind developers in a new ocean industry.

Reference: Found in the Wind: The Value of Early Consultation and Collaboration with Other Ocean Users for Successful Offshore Wind Development (2012). D.E. Frulla, G.M. Hagerman Jr., and M.G. Hallowell. Roger Williams University Law Review, 17: 307-326.

Link: http://www.kelleydrye.com/publications/articles/1561/_res/id=Files/index=0/1561.pdf 

Understanding and Informing Permitting Decisions for Tidal Energy Development Using an Adaptive Management Framework

Resource type: Research paper

Description: 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, the authors 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, they 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. The authors 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. They 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.

Reference: Understanding and Informing Permitting Decisions for Tidal Energy Development Using an Adaptive Management Framework (2013). J. Jansujwicz and T. Johnson. Estuaries and Coasts, 1:1-13.

Link: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12237-013-9678-0.

The Subsidy Game

Resource type: Online article

Description: Cost examinations of government energy subsidies don’t factor in what economists call “externalities,” side effects or consequences of activities that affect other parties without being reflected in the costs involved. With energy production, some of the biggest externalities are the social, health, and environmental effects of pollution.

Reference: The Subsidy Game (2012). Andy Kerr. HomePower (November 29, 2012).

Link: http://www.homepower.com/articles/home-efficiency/electricity/subsidy-game

Renewable Energy through Agency Action

Resource type: Law review article

Description: (Abstract) Despite the many societal benefits associated with renewable energy, it is used to generate only about five percent of the electricity needs of the U.S. The bulk of governmental efforts to rectify this situation have disproportionately impacted private actors. This Article argues that the federal government should expand its efforts to more fully capture the gains that can be achieved by targeting both private and public actors, particularly federal agencies. Federal agencies have enormous purchasing power that can be channeled toward using electricity and fuels derived from renewable energy. Federal agencies are some of the largest consumers of electricity. Federal agencies manage millions of acres of lands with ample renewable energy potential. Federal agencies stand to serve as models for the rest of the country through their support of renewable energy. Perhaps most importantly, the government is able to direct agencies to promote renewable energy with a power that it cannot exert on states or private actors. This Article evaluates a number of recent efforts to direct federal agencies to consume, produce, or facilitate the development of renewable energy, and highlights significant considerations associated with enlisting federal agencies to advance the nation's ambitious renewable energy goals.

Reference: Renewable Energy through Agency Action (2013). Amy L. Stein; 84 U. Colo. L. Rev. 651.

Link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2259082

Siting Offshore Hydrokinetic Energy Projects: A Comparative Look at Wave Energy Regulation in the Pacific Northwest

Resource type: Law review article

Description: (Abstract) This article presents a background on the efforts to regulate hydrokinetic wave energy projects in the Pacific Northwest. It discusses the legal background of the shared offshore jurisdiction between state governments and the federal government, and then explores the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission procedures relating to offshore hydrokinetic wave projects. The licensing regimes in Washington, Oregon, and California are reviewed along with preliminary conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis of state regimes. The article goes on to discuss regional efforts and comparative insights, as well as the long-term sustainability of offshore hydrokinetic energy.

Reference: Siting Offshore Hydrokinetic Energy Projects: A Comparative Look at Wave Energy Regulation in the Pacific Northwest (2011). Rachael Salcido; 5 Golden Gate Univ. Env. L. J. 109.

Link: http://mhk.pnnl.gov/wiki/images/1/1a/A_Comparative_Look_at_Wave_Energy_Regulation_in_the_Pacific_NW.pdf

Riding the Wave: Confronting Jurisdictional and Regulatory Barriers to Ocean Energy Development

Resource type: Law review article

Description: (Abstract) This Article provides a brief history of wave energy development, examines the status of hydrokinetic projects undertaken at a state and local level, and navigates the overlapping, and often competing, jurisdictional mandates confronting U.S. project developers. It also explores lessons learned from the European Union's (EU) recent regulatory experience and provides recommendations for short-and long-term steps forward in the United States.

Reference: Riding the Wave: Confronting Jurisdictional and Regulatory Barriers to Ocean Energy Development (2011). Danielle Murray, Christopher Carr, Jennifer Jeffers, and Alejandra Nunez-Luna; 5 Golden Gate Univ. Env. L. J. 159.

Link: http://mhk.pnnl.gov/wiki/images/d/d4/Confronting_Jurisdictional_and_Regulatory_Barriers.pdf

Emerging from the Deep: Pacific Coast Wave Energy

Resource type: Law review article

Description: This paper discusses hydrokinetic energy development in Oregon. It reviews federal and state jurisdictions and regulations and stresses the importance of comprehensive planning using the innovative concept of marine spatial planning; a place-based method for achieving the goals of ecosystem-based management by proactively matching spaces to uses.

Reference: Emerging from the Deep: Pacific Coast Wave Energy (2011). Holly V. Campbell. 24 J. Envtl. Law and Litigation 7.

Link: http://law.uoregon.edu/org/jell/docs/232/Campbell.pdf

Offshore Wind: What Steps Need to be Taken to Ensure it Has a Future in America

Resource type: Law review article

Description: (Abstract) This article addresses how Massachusetts has dealt with its offshore wind farm and the subsequent steps it has taken to remedy the problems encountered by the developers of the Cape Wind offshore wind project. It compares land-based and offshore zoning law, and then addresses the feasibility and potential future use of ocean plans and permitting. The article also analyzes state and federal regulations plus judicial review procedure for offshore permitting.

Reference: Offshore Wind: What Steps Need to be Taken to Ensure it Has a Future in America (2011). Amy Puliafico 12 J. High Tech L. 330.

Link: http://www.jhtl.org/docs/pdf/Pulicafico%20-%20Offshore%20Wind.pdf

Harnessing the Ocean’s Power: Opportunities in Renewable Ocean Energy Resources

Resource type: Law review article

Description: (Abstract) The opportunities posed by ocean renewable power are significant. A variety of technologies are available to extract usable power from the ocean environment. The legal regimes applicable to the development and operation of such projects in United States waters are fragmented. A variety of incentives are available to attract the development of ocean renewable projects. Nevertheless, renewable ocean energy projects face challenges, including whether they can be cost-competitive against other resources. Further regulatory streamlining will help renewable ocean energy projects compete in the electric industry.

Reference: Harnessing the Ocean’s Power: Opportunities in Renewable Ocean Energy Resources (2011). Todd. J. Griset 16 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 395.

Link: http://mainelaw.maine.edu/academics/oclj/pdf/vol16_2/vol16_oclj_395.pdf

Siting Renewable Energy Projects on the Outer Continental Shelf: Spin, Baby, Spin

Resource type: Law review article

Description: (Abstract) This Article provides a unique overview of the opportunities for the production of usable power from ocean energy resources other than oil and gas, as well as the legal regimes applicable to, and policy questions relating to that production. Part I covers the diverse array of technologies available for the extraction of energy from ocean resources, and illustrates selected examples of ocean energy projects in operation or under development. Part II addresses the patchwork of legal regimes governing ocean energy development in United States waters. Part III summarizes key tools and incentives that states and the federal government can and do employ to further ocean energy development. Part IV focuses on the question of whether ocean renewable power can be cost-competitive, using case studies to analyze that question. Part V covers policy questions that must be answered as society moves forward to tap the ocean’s energy resources. In summary, this Article offers a comprehensive characterization of the oceans’ potential to produce renewable power, as well as an analysis of how the current fragmented regulatory framework may be hampering development of these resources’ full potential. It offers recommendations for consolidating regulatory review of renewable ocean energy projects to reduce regulatory risk and enable renewable ocean energy to become more a cost-competitive component of the nation’s energy resources.

Reference: Siting Renewable Energy Projects on the Outer Continental Shelf: Spin, Baby, Spin (2009). Peter J. Schaumberg and Angela F. Colamaria 14 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 624.

Link: http://www.heinonline.org/HOL/Page?page=624&handle=hein.journals%2Frwulr14&collection=journals

Renewable Energy and the Public Trust Doctrine

Resource type: Law review article

Description: (Abstract) This Article discusses the extent to which the public trust doctrine applies to onshore and offshore renewable energy projects on private, state, and federal lands and waters. It then discusses the potential role state and federal legislation can play in codifying or expanding the application of the public trust doctrine with regard to state and federal lands and waters. It concludes by suggesting ways in which existing statutes and new, renewable energy-specific statutes can attempt to build on the public trust doctrine to encourage renewable energy development without compromising competing public trust values.

Reference: Renewable Energy and the Public Trust Doctrine (2012). Alexandra B. Klass 45 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1021.

Link: http://lawreview.law.ucdavis.edu/issues/45/3/Topic/45-3_Klass.pdf.

A Survey of State Regulation of Offshore Wind Facilities (GCRC)

Resource type: Document

Description: The report begins with an overview of the federal permitting framework for offshore wind development, including leasing of federal offshore lands and necessary federal statutory compliance. It then reviews the regulatory schemes relevant to offshore wind facilities in 11 states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts (ME, MA, RI, NJ, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, LA, and TX). These states take a variety of approaches in terms of regulation, but all are actively pursuing or evaluating the potential for offshore wind development. Some of these states, such as Rhode Island and Delaware, are developing new rules for leasing state submerged lands for offshore wind energy production. The report includes a list of additional resources regarding offshore wind, with short descriptions and web links, as well as an Appendix that details the relevant statutes and regulations for each state.

Reference: A Survey of State Regulation of Offshore Wind Facilities (2013). M. Myszewski and M. Alber. Georgia Coastal Resources Council, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Link: www.gcrc.uga.edu/FocusAreas/offshore_energy/StateRegulationSurvey.pdf

Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool Update (DOE)

Resource type: Policy and economic scenario comparison tool

Description: State and utility policy makers, county officials, and other interested stakeholders can now explore the best ways to improve the bottom line of consumer-owned wind turbines with an updated Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool. Users can now adjust the assumed Annual Energy Production with a slider bar on the Technical page. Incentive calculations for numerous states including California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, and New Jersey are updated based on the Policy Tool’s customized feed from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. The 3.0 Version of the Tool includes several updates reflecting changes in market conditions, refined assumptions, and improved user interface elements.

Link: http://www.eformativeoptions.com/dwpolicytool/

Offshore Renewable Energy: Regulatory Primer

Resource type: Document

Description: This regulatory primer is designed to serve as an introduction to the major federal laws and regulations governing renewable energy development offshore and coastal state authority under those laws. The primer also discusses local concerns about offshore renewable energy projects. While the report was written in 2009 and updated in 2011, some discrepancies remain; for example, the Mineral Management Service is still listed as the lead federal regulatory agency for offshore wind permitting when that authority was actually transferred to a new agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Overall, however, the report provides a good review of the federal permitting process. (2011).

Reference: Offshore Renewable Energy: Regulatory Primer (2011). Stephanie Showalter and Terra Bowling. National Sea Grant Law Center.

Link: http://nsglc.olemiss.edu/offshore.pdf.

A Guide to State Management of Offshore Wind Energy in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Resource type: Document

Description: This Guide summarizes some of the key context surrounding the efforts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia to support the sustainable development of offshore wind energy. It provides an overview of the states’ key legal authority, the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and state priorities in offshore wind energy project review, including the categories of information needed to satisfy the various review processes. The Guide is meant to provide the reader with a clearer understanding of the tremendous potential of offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic region, the basic framework that governs the state role in development of that resource, some of the states’ priorities that guide that framework, and how interested parties might approach working within it.

Reference: A Guide to State Management of Offshore Wind Energy in the Mid-Atlantic Region (2013). James McElfish, Adam Schempp, and Jordan Diamond. Prepared by the Environmental Law Institute in collaboration with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean.

Link: http://www.midatlanticocean.org/owe_April2013.pdf

Federal Offshore Renewable Energy Resources

Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Water Power Program
The Water Power Program, part of the EERE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office, researches, tests, evaluates, and develops innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective electricity from water resources. This includes hydropower, as well as marine and hydrokinetic energy technologies, which capture energy from waves as well as riverine, tidal, and ocean currents. EERE's work in water power technologies includes: Marine and hydrokinetic technologies which convert the movement of water in waves and currents into electricity; and Marine and hydrokinetic resource assessment and characterization which analyze ocean energy potential for future electricity production.

Link: http://www.eere.energy.gov/topics/water.html

Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Resources
This website explains how marine and hydrokinetic technologies work and highlights some of EERE’s Water Power Program's efforts in research and development in this area. The website also has links to where marine and hydrokinetic technology research and testing is being done across the country and about key terms for marine and hydrokinetic technology.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/water/marine_hydro_resources.html

Wind Power Program
The Wind Power Program's activities are aimed toward accelerating the deployment of wind power technologies through improved performance, lower costs, and reduced market barriers. The Program works with national laboratories, industry, universities, and other federal agencies to carry out analysis, technology development, and deployment projects that will overcome key barriers including the relatively high cost of energy, the mitigation of environmental impacts, the technical challenges of project installation, and grid interconnection.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/about.html

Offshore Wind Technology
The Wind Program funds research nationwide to develop and deploy offshore wind technologies that can capture wind resources off the coasts of the United States and convert the wind out at sea into electricity. Offshore wind resources are abundant, stronger, and blow more consistently than land-based wind resources. Data on the resource potential suggest more than 4,000,000 megawatts (MW) could be accessed in state and federal waters along the coasts of the U.S. and the Great Lakes, about four times the combined generating capacity of all U.S. electric power plants. The Wind Program is also working with the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to advance a national strategy for offshore wind research and development.

Link: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/offshore_wind.html

Wind Powering America
The U.S. DOE Program (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) Wind Powering America is committed to dramatically increasing the use of wind energy in the United States.

Link: http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Offshore Wind Research
NREL's offshore wind capabilities focus on critical areas that reflect the long-term needs of the offshore wind energy industry and the U.S. Department of Energy including: offshore design tools and methods; offshore standards and testing; energy analysis of offshore systems; offshore wind resource characterization; and grid integration of offshore wind.

Link: http://www.nrel.gov/wind/offshore_wind.html

Water Power Research
NREL's water power technologies support the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Program's efforts to research, test, evaluate, develop and demonstrate deployment of innovative water power technologies. These include marine and hydrokinetic technologies, a suite of renewable technologies that harness the energy from untapped wave, tidal, current and ocean thermal resources, as well as technologies and processes to improve the efficiency, flexibility, and environmental performance of hydropower generation.

Link: http://www.nrel.gov/water/

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

BOEM is responsible for managing development of the nation’s offshore resources in an environmentally and economically responsible way. Functions include: Leasing, Plan Administration, Environmental Studies, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Analysis, Resource Evaluation, Economic Analysis and the Renewable Energy Program.

Link: http://www.boem.gov

Renewable Energy Program
BOEM's Renewable Energy Program is authorized to grant leases, easements, and rights-of-way for orderly, safe, and environmentally responsible renewable energy development activities, such as the siting and construction of offshore wind generating facilities on the OCS, as well as other forms of renewable energy such as wave, current, and solar.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/Renewable-Energy-Program/index.aspx

Offshore Renewable Energy Organizations and Research Centers

The Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) was formed in 1977 at West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University) as an outgrowth of wind energy research begun in 1970. AEI's primary emphasis has been placed on wind energy, though certain research and education are also on solar energy. Recognized both nationally and internationally, AEI is proud to be the major information resource of wind energy for the State of Texas. AEI's program includes: wind data collection and analysis of the wind characteristics; evaluation of wind turbines; research, development and design of renewable energy systems; classes; seminars; workshops, training programs, publications, and information dissemination; and consulting for industry, governments, and individuals.

Link: http://www.windenergy.org/

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

AWEA is a national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, services providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry. The AWEA Offshore Wind Working Group is composed of offshore wind developers, OEMs and other supply chain companies, environmental and other consultants, law firms, and advocates engaged in activities that are helping to launch the offshore wind industry in the U.S. The website features news, research information, education materials, answers to technical and policy questions, and access to offshore wind energy publications.

Link: http://www.awea.org/About/landing.aspx?ItemNumber=5237&navItemNumber=633 (homepage)

Link: http://awea.rd.net/Issues/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=822&navItemNumber=703 (offshore wind page)

Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)

AMC is the nation's oldest outdoor recreation and conservation organization. It is made up of 16,000 volunteers, 450 staff, and 100,000 members, supporters, and advocates, which, together, promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the Appalachian region's environment. AMC’s general policy on windpower (including offshore windpower) addresses appropriate siting policies to protect critical natural and ecological resources of state or national significance.

Link: http://www.outdoors.org/conservation/wind/index.cfm

Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA)

The CESA is a nonprofit organization comprised of state and municipal clean energy funds working with federal, regional, industry, and other stakeholders, to promote clean energy markets and technologies. The CESA's Accelerating Offshore Wind project is a stakeholder initiative designed to: increase ongoing cooperation and communication; address project siting challenges by assisting federal agency efforts to improve the regulatory and planning process; advance investment through power procurement cooperation by state and federal agencies; identify supply chain needs and launch cooperative opportunities to build the industry infrastructure; and develop an information platform to provide access to recent data and information on offshore wind issues.

Link: http://www.cleanenergystates.org/ (homepage)

Link: http://www.cleanenergystates.org/projects/accelerating-offshore-wind-owap/ (Accelerating Offshore Wind project web page)

The Coastal Engineering & Fluid Mechanics lab (UMASS Dartmouth, School for Marine Science and Technology) led by Dr. Daniel G. MacDonald, Principal Investigator, pursues research in a variety of areas related to coastal physics and engineering. Basic and applied research encompasses the areas of stratified hydrodynamics, turbulence and frontal dynamics—with specific emphasis on estuarine flows, river plumes, and industrial discharges. A significant research focus also lies in the area of marine renewable energy, including wave energy and the development of nearshore wave energy converters (WECs), and the hydrodynamic aspects of other marine renewable technologies.

Link: http://www.smast.umassd.edu/lab_macdonald/

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent, nonprofit organization, conducts research relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. EPRI is assessing the status, performance, and cost of renewable generating technologies and providing a variety of critical information for the comparison, selection, operation and maintenance of these resources. EPRI's waterpower research assesses the generation potential, status, environmental performance, and cost of conventional hydropower and hydrokinetic technologies. Research includes national and international waterpower industry issues such as technology development and optimization, operations and maintenance, life extension and modernization, resource assessment, fish passage and protection, and environmental impact assessment and stewardship.

Link: http://www.epri.com/Pages/Default.aspx

Energy Resources Research Laboratory (ERRL) - Oregon State University web page summarizes the wind statistics of the Bonneville Power Administration's five long term wind monitoring sites in the Pacific Northwest. This web page summarizes the wind statistics of the five Bonneville Power Administration's long term wind monitoring sites in the Pacific Northwest. The original five sites were located in Montana, Oregon and Washington. An additional site was established in August 2002 at Vansycle, OR. Also included are numerous sites in the OSU Pacific NW Wind Data Base for the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Northern California, and Northern Nevada.

Link: http://mime.oregonstate.edu/ERRL/

Georgia Wind Working Group

The Georgia Wind Working Group (GWWG) promotes the responsible development and use of wind energy by facilitating stakeholder collaborations, assisting with resource assessments, and enhancing public understanding of the benefits and impacts of wind energy. The GWWG is working to advance wind activities throughout the state by providing general public education and technical outreach, targeted stakeholder outreach, hosting wind workshops, developing state specific literature, and providing presentations at key events.

Link: http://www.gawwg.org

Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)

IREC is a non-profit corporation that works with industry, government, educators and other stakeholders to ensure that the broader use of renewable energies is possible, safe, affordable and practical. IREC is committed to education, rulemaking and workforce development, including programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid; fair credit for renewable energy produced; best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industry; and quality assessment for the growing clean energy workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs.

Link: http://www.irecusa.org/about-irec/

National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

NASEO is the only national non-profit organization whose membership includes the governor-designated energy officials from each state and territory. NASEO was formed by the states and through an agreement with the National Governors Association in 1986. The organization was created to improve the effectiveness and quality of state energy programs and policies, provide policy input and analysis, share successes among the states, and to be a repository of information on issues of particular concern to the states and their citizens. NASEO is an instrumentality of the states and derives basic funding from the states and the federal government.

Link: http://www.naseo.org/about/

National Wind Coordinating Collaborative (NWCC)

The NWCC is a consensus-based collaborative formed in 1994 to address sustainable development of wind power that comprises a diverse set of stakeholders. The current mission of the NWCC Wildlife Workgroup is to identify, define, discuss, and through broad stakeholder involvement and collaboration address wind-wildlife and wind-habitat interaction issues to promote the shared objective of developing commercial markets for wind power in the United States.

Link: http://www.nationalwind.org/

The National Wind Technology Center (part of NREL) works extensively with industry to design and test cost-effective wind systems and components. The Wind and Water Power Program works to improve the performance, lower the costs, and accelerate the deployment of innovative wind and water power technologies.

Link: http://www.nrel.gov/wind/

Offshore WindHub (US Offshore Wind Collaborative) complements existing data portals, such as the MarineCadastre.gov, by providing open access to offshore wind policy, technology, economics, and siting documents. Phase I of the Offshore WindHub is focused on activities along the Atlantic Coast, with future expansion to other domestic and international regions. The US Offshore Wind Collaborative is catalyzing the American offshore wind energy market through partnerships, analysis, and new ways of thinking about challenges and solutions. Their goal is to help coastal and Great Lakes states move to a clean, sustainable, and secure energy future by adding offshore wind to America’s energy portfolio. The USOWC provides easy access and links to essential federal, state, and regional documents; and organizations and initiatives covering policy, economics, technology, environmental resources, and project development; integrates important cross-sector issues like Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CSMP); highlights best practices in the global offshore wind marketplace; and offers expert commentary and analysis on key challenges and solutions.

Link: http://offshorewindhub.org/

Link to state profile for Georgia: http://offshorewindhub.org/states/georgia

Sandia National Laboratories Wind Energy Technologies program conducts applied research to increase the viability of wind technology by improving wind turbine performance, reliability, and reducing the cost of energy. Sandia specializes in all aspects of wind-turbine blade design, manufacturing, and system reliability. By partnering with universities and industry, Sandia works to advance the state of knowledge in materials, structurally efficient airfoil designs, active-flow aerodynamic controls, and sensors. Researchers at the Labs are investigating integrated blade designs where airfoil choice, blade platform, materials, manufacturing process, and embedded controls are all considered in a system perspective. Sandia works with operators, developers, and manufacturers to help document and evaluate known reliability problems and develop tools and methods to anticipate and investigate future reliability issues.

Link: http://www.sandia.gov/wind/

Southeastern Wind Coalition

The Southeastern Wind Coalition works to advance the land-based and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, beneficial to utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers. The Coalition takes an objective, transparent, data-driven, and economically focused approach to advance the industry and inform policy discussions while working closely with utilities via a Utility Advisory Group (UAG) to find mutually beneficial solutions.Its key members include industry (e.g. manufacturers, utilities, suppliers, developers, consultants, service providers), appropriate government bodies (economic developers, commerce departments, energy offices), academic and research institutions, and other non-profit groups that share the Coalition’s objectives.

Link: http://sewind.org/

Strategic Energy Institute (SEI) was founded in 2005. The SEI brings together a diverse team of experts to develop sustainable, affordable, reliable, and integrated solutions to the global demands for energy and resources – from generation to distribution to use. SEI supports and connects energy-related research programs across Georgia Tech’s traditional academic disciplines/units, while fostering a network of industry, government, and academic research laboratories across the nation. The SEI represents Georgia Tech's commitment to serve as a national resource for energy information dissemination and to play a leadership role in the transition to a more sustainable energy economy. Georgia Tech faculty members are pursuing research that includes: wind and water power turbine, rotor/generator and blade design optimization, forecasting for wind energy power production and operational safety, ocean energy resource assessments, and offshore wind farm feasibility studies that include coastal and marine spatial planning.

Link: http://www.energy.gatech.edu/index.php

Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG)

The Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) was established in 1989 to provide a forum for the critical analysis of wind and solar generation technology for utility applications and to serve as a source of credible information on the status of wind and solar generation technology and deployment. The group’s mission is to accelerate the development and application of good engineering and operational practices supporting the appropriate integration and reliable operation of variable generation on the electric power system. UVIG currently has over 160 members from the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand, including investor-owned, public power, and rural electric cooperative utilities.

Link: http://variablegen.org/about/

Windustry

Windustry promotes progressive renewable energy solutions and empowers communities to develop and own wind energy as an environmentally sustainable asset. An independent nonprofit, Windustry works through education, outreach, technical support, and advocacy.

Link: http://www.windustry.org/

State and Regional Offshore Renewable Energy Resources

Great Lakes Wind Collaborative

Managed by the Great Lakes Commission, The Great Lakes Wind Collaborative (GLWC) was active between 2008 and 2013 as a multi-sector coalition of wind energy stakeholders working to facilitate the sustainable development of wind power in the binational Great Lakes region. Although the GLWC is no longer active, the website is still live and contains information about GLWC best practices, the Great Lakes Wind Atlas, and GLWC publications and outreach projects.

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), a research unit of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM), conducts research of state and national importance to develop, test and evaluate novel renewable energy technologies. The Institute leverages its in-house work with public-private partnerships to demonstrate real-world operations and enable integration of emerging technologies into the energy mix. Founded in 1974, HNEI was established in statute in 2007 to address critical State energy needs.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) is a non-profit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. After more than 30 years, SACE remains the only regional organization solely focused on transforming the way we produce and consume energy in the Southeast. Website visitors can sign up for e-news alerts, follow related blogs, access hot topics, search for documents, view fact sheets, etc.

Renewable Energy Periodicals

Wind In the News (AWEA)

The American Wind Energy Association shares the most important information affecting the industry through press releases from various sources.

Link: http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/newslist.aspx?navItemNumber=4597

BOEM Ocean Science: the Science & Technology Journal of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Journal on Renewable Energy

BOEM Ocean Science is published quarterly to communicate recent ocean science and technological information and issues of interest related to offshore energy recovery and ocean stewardship.

Link: http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-Newsroom/Library/Ocean-Science/Ocean-Science.aspx

Renewable energy issue Vol 9 (1) Jan/Feb/March 2012

Link: http://www.boem.gov/uploadedFiles/BOEM/Newsroom/Publications_Library/Ocean_Science/OS_0901_031512_FINAL_LINKED_WEB.pdf

EERE Network News

The EERE's newsletter covers national and international energy efficiency and renewable energy news and events, as well as new EERE websites and energy facts.

Link: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/enn.cfm

Green Energy News

Green Energy News was developed to offer news and commentary in regards to clean, efficient and/or renewable energy in relation to business, technology, issues and policy. Green Energy News is geared to a wide audience ranging from consumers to industry professionals to the educational community to government officials. Topics covered include renewable energy and wind energy.

Link: http://www.green-energy-news.com/

Marine Science Reviews (by SeaWeb)

SeaWeb's e-newsletter Marine Science Review compiles citations and abstracts of significant marine-related research, selected from more than 650 science journals. Each of its 12 subject areas, which include the range of important issues involving the intersection of human activity with coastal and marine environments, is distributed monthly.

Marine Industry: Offshore Renewable Energy issues:

Posted May 8, 2014. Topics include: Reviews, Prospects and Development, Public Opinion, Policy and Legal Issues, Life Cycle Assessment, and Wildlife and Habitat Impacts. http://www.seaweb.org/science/MSRnewsletters/msr_current.php

Posted April 24, 2012. Topics include: Reviews; Prospects and Development; Public Opinion and Engagement; Wildlife and Environmental Impacts. http://www.seaweb.org/science/MSRnewsletters/MSR_MI_OffshoreRenewableEnergy_4-2012.php

Posted October 11, 2012. Topics include: Reviews; Energy Transitions; Prospects and Development; Public Opinion and Engagement; Wildlife Interactions. http://www.seaweb.org/science/MSRnewsletters/MSR_MI_OffshoreRenewableEnergy_10-2012.php

Posted December 27, 2011. Topics include: Reviews; Development and Prospects; Public Opinion and Engagement; Policy and Legal Issues; Environmental Impacts. http://www.seaweb.org/science/MSRnewsletters/MSR_MarineIndustry_Offshore_Renewable_Energy_Dec2011.php

North American Windpower

Monthly magazine, focused on the fast-growing North American utility-scale wind energy industry.

Link: http://www.nawindpower.com/page.php?24

Science.gov

Science.gov searches over 60 databases and over 2200 selected websites from 15 federal agencies, including: the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and NOAA. The site offers 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results. Science.gov is governed by the interagency Science.gov Alliance.

Link: http://www.science.gov

Sustainable Business Insider

Articles and columns from leading sustainable business trade publications.

Link: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.features/?CFID=41008990&CFTOKEN=37481208

TRENDS in Renewable Energies

Canadian Association for Renewable Energies newsletter.

Link: http://www.renewables.ca/main/main.php

Wind Engineering Journal

Bi-monthly British, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the technology of wind energy. Papers are published on: the aerodynamics of rotors and blades; machine subsystems and components; design; test programmes; power generation and transmission; measuring and recording techniques; installations and applications; and economic, environmental and legal aspects.

Link: http://www.multi-science.co.uk/windeng.htm

Wind Power Offshore

Independent news magazine of the international wind industry provides the latest offshore wind power news and analysis focusing on business, policy, and economics.

Link: http://www.windpoweroffshore.com/

Miscellaneous Resources

Suzanne Tegen Discusses U.S. Offshore Wind on Science Friday

Suzanne Tegen, section manager for Wind and Water Deployment at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) National Wind Technology Center and WINDExchange team member, joined Science Friday on September 2, 2016 for a segment titled U.S. Wind Power Finally Gets Its Sea Legs. Tegen and Cristina Archer of the University of Delaware discussed the newly installed Block Island Wind Farm and answered questions from callers.

WWF Adapt

Resource type: Website

Description: WWF has developed a series of free, interactive online courses on climate change and adaptation designed specifically for those interested in biodiversity conservation but just as useful for people working in other fields. The courses use simple, non-technical language to explain concepts that are often confusing for newcomers to climate change adaptation. The site also offers instructions and materials for fun, participatory activities for use in face-to-face adaptation trainings. Courses are available in English, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish. Additional courses, activities and translations in other languages are in development. This tool should prove useful to conservationists, educators, and those new to climate change adaptation. 
Link: http://www.wwfadapt.org

 

 

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material on this site are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agencies or the University System of Georgia.
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This page was updated January 30, 2017