Special Issue "Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Installations"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (27 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Louise Kregting
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Interests: coastal processes; renewable energy; hydrodynamic modelling
Dr. Lilian Lieber
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Interests: active acoustics; hydrodynamics; tidal stream environments; predator-prey interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine renewable energy extraction from wind, wave and tides has the potential to contribute significantly to the decarbonisation of our increasing energy demands and the provision of energy security for future generations. This requires the installation of large arrays of devices in coastal and shelf regions. However, there are still concerns regarding potential environmental impacts on the marine environment (including but not limited to marine mammals, elasmobranchs, seabirds, fish and benthic invertebrates). For marine energy to play a key role in the development of the blue economy, any environmental interactions between marine fauna and energy structures need to be considered.

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

  • New (monitoring) technologies and methods
  • The management of space, including marine spatial planning
  • Collision risk
  • Marine fauna displacement, avoidance, and 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. Lilian Lieber
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 papers will be 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 1800 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

  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Biofouling
  • Collision risk
  • Offshore renewable energy
  • Noise
  • Benthic communities
  • Bio-physical processes

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Potential Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development—The State of the Science
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(11), 879; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8110879 - 04 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1361
Abstract
Marine renewable energy (MRE) harnesses energy from the ocean and provides a low-carbon sustainable energy source for national grids and remote uses. The international MRE industry is in the early stages of development, focused largely on tidal and riverine turbines, and wave energy [...] Read more.
Marine renewable energy (MRE) harnesses energy from the ocean and provides a low-carbon sustainable energy source for national grids and remote uses. The international MRE industry is in the early stages of development, focused largely on tidal and riverine turbines, and wave energy converters (WECs), to harness energy from tides, rivers, and waves, respectively. Although MRE supports climate change mitigation, there are concerns that MRE devices and systems could affect portions of the marine and river environments. The greatest concern for tidal and river turbines is the potential for animals to be injured or killed by collision with rotating blades. Other risks associated with MRE device operation include the potential for turbines and WECs to cause disruption from underwater noise emissions, generation of electromagnetic fields, changes in benthic and pelagic habitats, changes in oceanographic processes, and entanglement of large marine animals. The accumulated knowledge of interactions of MRE devices with animals and habitats to date is summarized here, along with a discussion of preferred management methods for encouraging MRE development in an environmentally responsible manner. As there are few devices in the water, understanding is gained largely from examining one to three MRE devices. This information indicates that there will be no significant effects on marine animals and habitats due to underwater noise from MRE devices or emissions of electromagnetic fields from cables, nor changes in benthic and pelagic habitats, or oceanographic systems. Ongoing research to understand potential collision risk of animals with turbine blades still shows significant uncertainty. There has been no significant field research undertaken on entanglement of large animals with mooring lines and cables associated with MRE devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Installations)
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Open AccessArticle
Applying Two Active Acoustic Technologies to Document Presence of Large Marine Animal Targets at a Marine Renewable Energy Site
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(9), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8090704 - 11 Sep 2020
Viewed by 629
Abstract
Coastal regions are highly used by humans. The growing marine renewable energy (MRE) industry will add to existing anthropogenic pressures in these regions. Regulatory bodies require animal risk assessment before new industrial activities can progress, and MRE is no exception. Preliminary data of [...] Read more.
Coastal regions are highly used by humans. The growing marine renewable energy (MRE) industry will add to existing anthropogenic pressures in these regions. Regulatory bodies require animal risk assessment before new industrial activities can progress, and MRE is no exception. Preliminary data of marine mammal use of an MRE device deployment location could be informative to permitting. A combination of downlooking hydroacoustics using an echosounder and acoustic camera (imaging sonar) was used to provide a number of large targets (proxy for large fish and marine mammals) in an area of interest for MRE tidal turbine deployment in Western Passage, Maine, USA. Data were collected in May, June, August, and September of 2010 and 2011. Of the nine large targets confirmed to be animals, eight were porpoises and one was a shark. Few large targets were observed in May and June, with the majority (90%) being present in August and September of both years. The most large targets were observed when tidal current speed was less than 1 m·s−1. These data provide a preliminary assessment of large targets in a single location over sixteen 24-h surveys. The aforementioned methodology could be used for future pre- and post-installation assessments at MRE device deployment locations. Their use in concert with visual and passive acoustic monitoring can provide water depth usage by marine mammals, which is a metric that is difficult to assess with passive acoustic and visual techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Installations)
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Open AccessArticle
Adaptable Monitoring Package Development and Deployment: Lessons Learned for Integrated Instrumentation at Marine Energy Sites
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(8), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8080553 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 902
Abstract
Integrated instrumentation packages are an attractive option for environmental and ecological monitoring at marine energy sites, as they can support a range of sensors in a form factor compact enough for the operational constraints posed by energetic waves and currents. Here we present [...] Read more.
Integrated instrumentation packages are an attractive option for environmental and ecological monitoring at marine energy sites, as they can support a range of sensors in a form factor compact enough for the operational constraints posed by energetic waves and currents. Here we present details of the architecture and performance for one such system—the Adaptable Monitoring Package—which supports active acoustic, passive acoustic, and optical sensing to quantify the physical environment and animal presence at marine energy sites. we describe cabled and autonomous deployments and contrast the relatively limited system capabilities in an autonomous operating mode with more expansive capabilities, including real-time data processing, afforded by shore power or in situ power harvesting from waves. Across these deployments, we describe sensor performance, outcomes for biological target classification algorithms using data from multibeam sonars and optical cameras, and the effectiveness of measures to limit biofouling and corrosion. On the basis of these experiences, we discuss the demonstrated requirements for integrated instrumentation, possible operational concepts for monitoring the environmental and ecological effects of marine energy converters using such systems, and the engineering trade-offs inherent in their development. Overall, we find that integrated instrumentation can provide powerful capabilities for observing rare events, managing the volume of data collected, and mitigating potential bias to marine animal behavior. These capabilities may be as relevant to the broader oceanographic community as they are to the emerging marine energy sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Installations)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Wind Turbines and Fish Farms: An Evaluation of Potential Risks to Marine and Coastal Bird Species
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(6), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8060414 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 971
Abstract
Expansion of marine aquaculture into more remote areas will likely accelerate over the next decade. Integrating Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) generation technologies (e.g., wind turbines) into remote, off-grid aquaculture sites will reduce reliance on fossil fuels by allowing localised low-carbon power generation, but [...] Read more.
Expansion of marine aquaculture into more remote areas will likely accelerate over the next decade. Integrating Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) generation technologies (e.g., wind turbines) into remote, off-grid aquaculture sites will reduce reliance on fossil fuels by allowing localised low-carbon power generation, but may also result in novel environmental pressures. In this study, we undertook a thought experiment to assess the potential for increased collision risks to local marine and coastal bird species of integrating small wind turbines (4 units; combined capacity of 200 MWh) into a generalised marine fish farm in western Scotland (UK). Potential risks to bird species were assessed using a bespoke Sensitivity Index (SI) based on 12 factors, including population size, adult survival rate, UK conservation status, flight manoeuvrability, nocturnal flight activity, habitat preference, sensitivity to wind farms, attraction to fish farms for feeding and/or resting, and attraction to other marine anthropogenic structures/activities. SI scores varied substantially between species, but large gulls (Larus sp.) and European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) were expected to be at the greatest potential risk. The general lack of information on interactions between birds and fish farms represented a significant knowledge gap, and greater focus on these interactions is needed to improve future risk assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Installations)
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