Potential Impacts of Marine Energy Development on Scotland’s Marine Ecological Environment

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Aquatera and its project team were appointed by the Scottish Government to undertake a study to identify the potential key issues associated with the development of wave and tidal energy on Scotland’s marine ecological environment.   

The main output of this work was a database which contains the results of an extensive assessment process.  This website provides a user friendly tool enabling users to query the database and to access the supporting information that was collated and used during the assessment.  To begin using the tool click here

Alongside the database a set of recommendations were developed to provide guidance on the assessment, monitoring and management of potential key issues.  These guidelines can be found here

This project has a number of current boundaries and limitations which are subject to constant review by the Project Steering Group.

Boundaries and limitations

This initial project focuses on the potential impacts arising from the different technology types and support structures.  It does not include impacts associated with support vessel activity, subsea cables (export and interarray) and other infrastructure that may be required to support a marine energy project.  Impacts associated with accidental and unplanned events were also not considered during this process.

This project assessed the potential impacts on the marine ecological environment; not the physical or human environment.   

The assessment component of this study was undertaken during 2010-11 and therefore, due to the progress made over the past year in this fast-paced industry, some information may require updating.  The Scottish Government will soon undertake the first review process following which, the assessment results, recommendations and the website will be updated. 

The Project Team

Aquatera assembled a team of the UK’s leading specialists in marine ecology, wave and tidal energy technology development, environmental impact assessment and monitoring. The team comprised of specialists from the following institutes/organisations:

The Project Steering Group

The project was managed and guided throughout by the Project Steering Group which included:

It should be noted that the Project Steering Group along with a number of other external participants played a key role in this project.