Social and ecological impacts of marine energy development

Paul Bonar, Ian Bryden, Alastair Borthwick

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    63 Citations (Scopus)


    For marine energy to be truly sustainable, its social and ecological impacts must be identified and measured by which to mitigate adverse effects established before devices are deployed in large arrays. To inform future
    research and encourage environmentally-sensitive developments, this review aims to identify the most
    significant social and ecological issues associated with wave and tidal current energy generation. Modifications to wave climates, flow patterns, and marine habitats, particularly through increased underwater noise and
    collision risk, are identified as key ecological issues. Social acceptance of renewable energy is found to be closely linked to the level of stakeholder involvement and the public perception of renewable energy. The review
    concludes with a call for a more strategic and collaborative research effort between developers, academia, and the public sector to improve environmental monitoring standards and best practices for device and array design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)486-495
    Number of pages10
    JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
    Early online date30 Mar 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


    • Marine energy
    • Wave energy
    • Tidal current energy
    • Social impact
    • Ecological impact
    • Environmental impact

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