Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 14086

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Plant & Food Research, Nelson Research Centre, 293 Akersten St, Nelson 7010, New Zealand
Interests: coastal processes; renewable energy; hydrodynamic modelling; environmental impacts
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Interests: renewable energy; collision risk modelling; marine ecology; environmental impacts

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine renewable energy extraction from offshore wave, tides, and wind energy converters has the potential to ease the global dependence on fossil fuels and contribute significantly to providing energy security for future generations. This requires the installation of large arrays of converters in coastal and shelf regions. However, there remains concerns regarding the interaction between the infrastructure and the marine environment (including, but not limited to, marine mammals, elasmobranchs, seabirds, fish, and benthic invertebrates).

High-quality papers are encouraged for publication on all aspects of the interface between the environment and offshore marine renewables. Research areas are envisaged to include, but are not restricted to: modelling and quantification of device-environment interactions (including arrays) from individual to population-level effects, as mentioned below.

  • New (monitoring) technologies and methods;
  • Management of space including marine spatial planning;
  • Collision risk;
  • Marine fauna displacement, avoidance, barrier effects;
  • Marine fauna attraction and reef effects;
  • Noise/soundscapes;
  • Electromagnetic fields;
  • Bio-physical change (including sediment and flow dynamics and bio-physical oceanographic processes).

Dr. Louise Kregting
Dr. Nicholas Baker-Horne
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • hydrokinetic
  • marine animals
  • hydrodynamics
  • environmental interactions
  • tides
  • wind
  • waves

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 635 KiB  
Article
Comparability of Outputs between Traditional and Simulation-Based Approaches to Collision Risk Modelling
by Nicholas Horne, Pál Schmitt, Ross Culloch, Ben Wilson, Jonathan D. R. Houghton, Andrew Dale and Louise Kregting
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(12), 2359; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11122359 - 14 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904
Abstract
Tidal stream energy is a predictable renewable energy source; however, environmental consent of developments remains a key barrier to the expansion of this industry. Uncertainty around collision risk, i.e., the risk of animals colliding with a tidal device, remains a major barrier to [...] Read more.
Tidal stream energy is a predictable renewable energy source; however, environmental consent of developments remains a key barrier to the expansion of this industry. Uncertainty around collision risk, i.e., the risk of animals colliding with a tidal device, remains a major barrier to consent. Collision risk models are used in environmental impact assessments. Common collision risk models, like the Encounter Rate and Band Models, have limitations in accommodating new device designs and flexibility. To address this, a simulation-based approach was developed. To provide confidence in its use, it is important that the simulation-based approach is compared against the Band model and the Encounter rate model, which have been regularly used in the UK. Here, we compared collision risk estimates from the three models under the same exact conditions and one alternative condition. The results of the main scenario (where all conditions were the same) showed that the three models produced comparable results with <6% difference across all models. However, for the alternative scenario, the simulation-based approach produced a result three times higher compared to other models, which could not account for a vertical approach angle. These findings provide confidence in the simulation-based approach whilst also outlining the importance of selecting an appropriate collision risk model, tailored to the specific assessment scenario. Improved understanding and application of such models hold the key to more accurate risk evaluations in environmental impact assessments, thus facilitating the sustainable development of the tidal energy industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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19 pages, 9602 KiB  
Article
Key Biofouling Organisms in Tidal Habitats Targeted by the Offshore Renewable Energy Sector in the North Atlantic Include the Massive Barnacle Chirona hameri
by Andrew Want, Audrey Goubard, Solène Jonveaux, Donald Leaver and Michael C. Bell
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(11), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11112168 - 14 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1379
Abstract
Marine habitats are being targeted for the extraction of offshore renewable energy (ORE) as part of the drive to decarbonise electricity generation. Unmanaged biofouling impacts ORE devices and infrastructure by elevating drag forces, increasing weight, and accelerating corrosion, leading to decreased performance and [...] Read more.
Marine habitats are being targeted for the extraction of offshore renewable energy (ORE) as part of the drive to decarbonise electricity generation. Unmanaged biofouling impacts ORE devices and infrastructure by elevating drag forces, increasing weight, and accelerating corrosion, leading to decreased performance and survivability, and extending costly periods of maintenance. ORE deployments in high tidal flow locations are providing opportunities to study the biofouling unique to these habitats. In this study, surveys of numerous devices and associated infrastructure deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre in Scotland identified high tidal flow fouling assemblages. Substrate orientation relative to tidal flow appears to affect the abundance of key fouling species, including the massive barnacle Chirona hameri. This species is shown to recruit to a wide range of artificial substrates, over a prolonged period from mid-spring to mid-summer, and in maximum current speeds from 0.4–4.0 m/s. For the first time, C. hameri is reported in near-surface depths, on uncoated components of a floating tidal device. The highly gregarious settlement behaviour and rapid growth exhibited by this species may have important implications for managing fouling in the ORE industry, especially in ‘niche’ areas. Anti-fouling strategies and maintenance scheduling applicable to ORE and other marine industries are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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22 pages, 5800 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Performance of a Dual-Frequency Multibeam Echosounder for Small Target Detection
by Nicholas Petzinna, Vladimir Nikora, Joe Onoufriou and Benjamin J. Williamson
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(11), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11112084 - 31 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1212
Abstract
With rising interest in marine renewable energy (MRE) associated with offshore wind, waves, and tidal flows, the effects of device placement on changes in animal behaviour require proper assessment to minimise environmental impacts and inform decision making. High-frequency multibeam echosounders, or imaging sonars, [...] Read more.
With rising interest in marine renewable energy (MRE) associated with offshore wind, waves, and tidal flows, the effects of device placement on changes in animal behaviour require proper assessment to minimise environmental impacts and inform decision making. High-frequency multibeam echosounders, or imaging sonars, can be used to observe and record the underwater movement and behaviour of animals at a fine scale (tens of metres). However, robust target detection and tracking of closely spaced animals are required for assessing animal–device and predator–prey interactions. Dual-frequency multibeam echosounders combine longer detection ranges (low frequency) with greater detail (high frequency) while maintaining a wide field of view and a full water column range compared to acoustic or optical cameras. This study evaluates the performance of the Tritech Gemini 1200ik imaging sonar at 720 kHz (low frequency) and 1200 kHz (high frequency) for small target detection with increasing range and the ability of the two frequency modes to discriminate between two closely spaced targets using a 38.1 mm tungsten carbide acoustic calibration sphere under controlled conditions. The quality of target detection decreases for both modes with increasing range, with a 25 m limit of detection at high frequency and a low-frequency mode able to detect the target up to 30 m under test conditions in shallow water. We quantified the enhanced performance of the high-frequency mode in discriminating targets at short ranges and improved target detection and discrimination at high ranges in the low-frequency mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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25 pages, 1633 KiB  
Article
Towards Estimating Probability of Fish–Turbine Encounter: Using Drifters Equipped with Acoustic Tags to Verify the Efficacy of an Array of Acoustic Receivers
by Brian G. Sanderson, Richard H. Karsten and Daniel J. Hasselman
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(8), 1592; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11081592 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 769
Abstract
An area has been designated for demonstrating the utility of marine hydrokinetic turbines in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy. Marine renewable energy may be useful for the transition from carbon-based energy sources, but there is concern for the safety of fish that might [...] Read more.
An area has been designated for demonstrating the utility of marine hydrokinetic turbines in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy. Marine renewable energy may be useful for the transition from carbon-based energy sources, but there is concern for the safety of fish that might encounter turbines. Acoustic receivers that detect signals from acoustically tagged fish that pass through the tidal demonstration area and the detection efficiency of tag signals might be used to estimate the likelihood of fish encountering marine hydrokinetic turbines. The method requires that tagged fish passing through the development area will be reliably detected by a receiver array. The present research tests the reliability with which passing tags are detected by suspending tags beneath GPS-tracked drifters. Drifters carrying high residency Innovasea tags that transmitted every 2 s were usually detected by the receiver array even in fast currents during spring tides but pulse-position modulation tags were inadequate. Sometimes very few high residency tag signals were detected when fast tidal currents swept a drifter through the receiver array, so increasing the transmission interval degrades performance at the tidal energy development area. High residency tags suspended close to the sea surface were slightly less likely to be detected if they passed by during calm conditions. Previously measured detection efficiencies were found to slightly overestimate the chances of a high residency tag carried by a drifter being detected as it passed by a receiver. This works elucidates the effectiveness with which acoustically tagged fish are detected in fast, highly turbulent tidal currents and informs the application of detection efficiency measurements to calculate the probability that fish encounter a marine hydrokinetic turbine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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25 pages, 7467 KiB  
Article
Recording the Magnetic Field Produced by an Undersea Energy Generating Device: A Low-Cost Alternative
by Victor Luna, Rodolfo Silva, Edgar Mendoza and Iza Canales-García
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(7), 1423; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11071423 - 15 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1933
Abstract
This work describes the characteristics of a device capable of detecting the magnetic field generated by a submerged electrical conductor. This low-cost apparatus is based on the open-source Arduino platform and offers the possibility of monitoring magnetic fields generated by undersea cables. Measuring [...] Read more.
This work describes the characteristics of a device capable of detecting the magnetic field generated by a submerged electrical conductor. This low-cost apparatus is based on the open-source Arduino platform and offers the possibility of monitoring magnetic fields generated by undersea cables. Measuring magnetic fields generated by undersea cables facilitates the development of technologies that will harness marine energy potential. The research is based on published parameters of magnetic field values generated by existing submarine cables. A coil was built to simulate an approximate magnetic field at 10 mT. The magnetic field generated by the coil was used as a reference standard. The device developed has a measurement probe built with an array of SS49E Hall effect sensors placed in a straight line and separated 5 cm from each other. A DS18B20 temperature sensor was added to make the necessary corrections and cancel the influence of temperature during the measurements. A microSD card module was attached to store continuous magnetic field measurements. The device was adjusted under strict laboratory conditions. The functionality of the device developed was confirmed by two samplings in the sea. In these samples, the magnetic field generated by the coil was measured in the entire water column from a depth of 3 m to 150 m. Results indicate that the prototype can successfully perform the necessary functions to quantify the underwater magnetic field accurately with about 10 µT accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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24 pages, 3404 KiB  
Article
Measuring Detection Efficiency of High-Residency Acoustic Signals for Estimating Probability of Fish–Turbine Encounter in a Fast-Flowing Tidal Passage
by Brian Gavin Sanderson, Charles William Bangley, Louise Patricia McGarry and Daniel James Hasselman
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(6), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11061172 - 2 Jun 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Semidiurnal tidal currents can exceed 5 ms1 in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, where a tidal energy demonstration area has been designated to generate electricity using marine hydrokinetic turbines. The risk of harmful fish–turbine interaction cannot be dismissed for either migratory [...] Read more.
Semidiurnal tidal currents can exceed 5 ms1 in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, where a tidal energy demonstration area has been designated to generate electricity using marine hydrokinetic turbines. The risk of harmful fish–turbine interaction cannot be dismissed for either migratory or local fish populations. Individuals belonging to several fish populations were acoustically tagged and monitored by using acoustic receivers moored within the Minas Passage. Detection efficiency ρ is required as the first step to estimate the probability of fish–turbine encounter. Moored Innovasea HR2 receivers and high-residency (HR) tags were used to obtain detection efficiency ρ as a function of range and current speed, for near-seafloor signal paths within the tidal energy development area. Strong tidal currents moved moorings, so HR tag signals and their reflections from the sea surface were used to measure ranges from tags to receivers. HR2 self-signals that reflected off the sea surface showed which moorings were displaced to lower and higher levels on the seafloor. Some of the range testing paths had anomalously low ρ, which might be attributed to variable bathymetry blocking the line-of-sight signal path. Clear and blocked signal paths accord with mooring levels. The application of ρ is demonstrated for the calculation of abundance, effective detection range, and detection-positive intervals. High-residency signals were better detected than pulse position modulation (PPM) signals. Providing that the presently obtained ρ applies to tagged fish that swim higher in the water column, there is a reasonable prospect that probability of fish–turbine encounter can be estimated by monitoring fish that carry HR tags. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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20 pages, 1384 KiB  
Article
Probability of Atlantic Salmon Post-Smolts Encountering a Tidal Turbine Installation in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy
by Brian G. Sanderson, Richard H. Karsten, Cameron C. Solda, David C. Hardie and Daniel J. Hasselman
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(5), 1095; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11051095 - 22 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
Tidal stream energy is a renewable energy resource that might be developed to offset carbon emissions. A tidal energy demonstration (TED) area has been designated in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, for testing and installing marine hydrokinetic (MHK) turbines. Regulations require quantification of [...] Read more.
Tidal stream energy is a renewable energy resource that might be developed to offset carbon emissions. A tidal energy demonstration (TED) area has been designated in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, for testing and installing marine hydrokinetic (MHK) turbines. Regulations require quantification of the potential for MHK turbine installations to harm local populations of marine animals. Here, we use acoustic telemetry to quantify the probability that post-smolt inner Bay of Fundy salmon encounter a turbine installation at the TED area. Previous work has quantified the detection efficiency of Innovasea HR acoustic tags as a function of the current speed and range from a moored HR2 receiver and also demonstrated that drifters carrying HR tags will be effectively detected when the drifter track crosses the array of HR2 receivers in Minas Passage. Salmon smolts were tagged and released in Gaspereau and Stewiacke Rivers, Nova Scotia, in order that the HR2 receiver array could monitor seaward migration of the post-smolts through Minas Passage and particularly through the TED area. Presently, we formulate and apply a method by which tag signals detected by the HR2 array can be used to estimate the expected number of times that a post-smolt would encounter a single near-surface MHK turbine installation during its seaward migration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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11 pages, 1586 KiB  
Article
No Observed Effects of Subsea Renewable Energy Infrastructure on Benthic Environments
by David Smyth and Louise Kregting
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(5), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11051061 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
For the tidal energy industry to move forward to commercialisation, understanding the interaction between the environment and tidal energy converters (TEC) is essential. The benthic environment may be particularly vulnerable to development by changing the existing physical and ecological characteristics. To assess measurable [...] Read more.
For the tidal energy industry to move forward to commercialisation, understanding the interaction between the environment and tidal energy converters (TEC) is essential. The benthic environment may be particularly vulnerable to development by changing the existing physical and ecological characteristics. To assess measurable changes of the infrastructural and operation activity of the Deep Green subsea TEC known as the kite, developed by Minesto, benthic surveys were carried out in the Narrows, Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. At the Minesto site and two other locations, scientific divers carried out circular cardinal-direction benthic camera surveys prior to and after five years of operation. A diverse assemblage of sessile, vagile and mobile species associated with substrate types were identified. No significant changes at any of the sites were recorded in the abundance of species, substrate type or species diversity over the five-year period. The results show that no impact on benthic communities was detected as a result of the operation and deployment of the infrastructure associated with the technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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Review

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23 pages, 5665 KiB  
Review
A Review of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Usage as an Environmental Survey Tool within Tidal Stream Environments
by James Slingsby, Beth E. Scott, Louise Kregting, Jason McIlvenny, Jared Wilson and Benjamin J. Williamson
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(12), 2298; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11122298 - 4 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
Tidal energy is a rapidly developing area of the marine renewable energy sector that requires converters to be placed within areas of fast current speeds to be commercially viable. Tidal environments are also utilised by marine fauna (marine mammals, seabirds and fish) for [...] Read more.
Tidal energy is a rapidly developing area of the marine renewable energy sector that requires converters to be placed within areas of fast current speeds to be commercially viable. Tidal environments are also utilised by marine fauna (marine mammals, seabirds and fish) for foraging purposes, with usage patterns observed at fine spatiotemporal scales (seconds and metres). An overlap between tidal developments and fauna creates uncertainty regarding the environmental impact of converters. Due to the limited number of tidal energy converters in operation, there is inadequate knowledge of marine megafaunal usage of tidal stream environments, especially the collection of fine-scale empirical evidence required to inform on and predict potential environmental effects. This review details the suitability of using multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles within tidal stream environments as a tool for capturing fine-scale biophysical interactions. This includes presenting the advantages and disadvantages of use, highlighting complementary image processing and automation techniques, and showcasing the limited current examples of usage within tidal stream environments. These considerations help to demonstrate the appropriateness of unmanned aerial vehicles, alongside applicable image processing, for use as a survey tool to further quantify the potential environmental impacts of marine renewable energy developments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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17 pages, 2349 KiB  
Review
A Probabilistic Methodology for Determining Collision Risk of Marine Animals with Tidal Energy Turbines
by Andrea E. Copping, Daniel J. Hasselman, Charles W. Bangley, Joel Culina and Max Carcas
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11(11), 2151; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11112151 - 11 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1802
Abstract
Commercial development of tidal stream energy is hampered by technical and financial challenges, and impeded by uncertainty about potential environmental effects that drive environmental risk assessments and permitting (consenting) processes. The effect of greatest concern for operational tidal stream energy devices is the [...] Read more.
Commercial development of tidal stream energy is hampered by technical and financial challenges, and impeded by uncertainty about potential environmental effects that drive environmental risk assessments and permitting (consenting) processes. The effect of greatest concern for operational tidal stream energy devices is the potential for marine animals to collide with turbine blades, resulting in injury or death. Due to the turbulent and often turbid waters that frequently characterize tidal turbine sites, there is an absence of empirical evidence about collisions with marine animals. This paucity of observations often leads to risk-averse permitting decisions that further restrict the deployment of tidal energy devices that are needed to collect this evidence. This paper relies on the framework of stressors and receptors that is widely used in marine energy studies and outlines a stepwise probabilistic methodology that applies existing knowledge to further elucidate the risk to marine animals from operational tidal turbines. A case study using striped bass from the Bay of Fundy, Canada, accompanies the methodology, to partially demonstrate its application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interface between Offshore Renewable Energy and the Environment)
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