This webinar originally aired on March 1, 2022.
Description: Marine renewable energies are gaining momentum around the world due to the need to develop safe energy sources that can help the world decarbonize and fight climate change. However, the full potential of energy from waves, currents and wind has yet to be tapped – in part due to uncertainty about how energy conversion devices may impact the marine environment. AZTI has developed a new tool – the WEC-ERA Tool – to assess the ecological risk of wave energy converters. This is an open-access tool for managers, decisionmakers, industry and others to evaluate the environmental risks associated with new wave energy projects. The tool evaluates how three different wave power conversion technologies – oscillating water column, oscillating wave surge converters, and wave turbines – affect the ecosystem. The system addresses all phases of the lifecycle of those power conversion technologies, from installation to operation to dismantling. This tool is intuitive and easy to use. The characteristics of the proposed installation are entered (i.e., number of units, total authorized surface, installed production capacity in megawatts, project lifespan in years, and area reserved for the equipment). Results consider possible impacts on the seabed and native bird, mammal, fish, reptile, and cephalopod species.