Renewable and low carbon energy: interactions with the marine system

Jerry Blackford (PML), Matt Lewis (Bangor), Judith Wolf (NOC), Beth Scott (Aberdeen), Daniel Conley (Plymouth) 

There is a global need for low carbon energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Marine renewable energy could make a significant contribution to legally binding emission targets. The UK shelf seas are a world-leading marine energy resource, hosting several test centres, and containing a large number of commercial projects, complemented by world-leading research. The UK also has world leading research into carbon capture and marine geological storage as a de-carbonisation technique for fossil fuel and industrial emissions. In addition, new nuclear power stations will be associated with coastal discharges. Marine based solutions to a low carbon based energy system necessitate consideration of resource, impacts, cost-benefit and risk. Multiple usage of the marine environment requires careful planning, for example co-location of energy initiatives, no-catch zones or food extraction can have both positive and negative synergies, and far-field impacts can interact, cancel or multiply. 

We seek research spanning a broad range of topics related to the marine near and far-field implications of decarbonising our energy system; including offshore wind, wave, tidal range, tidal-stream energy, carbon capture and storage and nuclear. This session is designed to gather new research techniques and relate research methods, including mapping tools, monitoring, numerical modelling approaches, and observations. This session will also include studies into the characterisation of the resource and the interaction of energy devices with the resource and the environment; from physical (e.g. sediment transport pathways, devices during extreme conditions, dispersion of intended and unintended discharges, hydrodynamics), to biological (e.g. seabirds, fish, marine mammals, and benthic communities) as well as societal interactions (e.g. policy, regulatory, acceptability, tourism, aquaculture or fishing).