Comparability of Outputs between Traditional and Simulation-Based Approaches to Collision Risk Modelling

Nicholas Horne, Pál Schmitt, Ross Culloch, Ben Wilson, Jonathan d. r. Houghton, Andrew Dale, Louise Kregting

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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 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2359
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Volume11
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • collision risk model
  • environmental impacts
  • tidal turbines
  • marine energy

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