Electric Oceans: Finding the Space for Marine Renewable Energy in Crowded Waters

Friday, February 15, 2013: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)
Offshore wind, waves and tides have tremendous potential to help us meet our burgeoning energy needs. While the European marine renewable energy industry has been active for decades, the U.S. industry is in its infancy. Recent legislation has accelerated renewable energy development in our waters, particularly along the East Coast, including Boston’s watery backyard. Technological hurdles exist for industry expansion, but a critical challenge is finding space in a crowded ocean. Given our myriad ocean uses (fishing, marine transportation, recreational boating) one more use can yield substantial tradeoffs. In this symposium, we will share novel approaches to delineating spaces for wind energy facilities that can inform siting decisions that lead to the best outcomes for people and the ecosystem services on which we depend. This symposium will feature three presentations; the first will focus on the science and economics of siting wind energy facilities, the second will highlight the wind energy area in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and interactions with commercial fisheries, and the third will discuss ongoing work to balance offshore wind and fisheries, highlight industry to industry partnerships, and reflect on best practices. We will conclude with a panel that engages audience participation and explores lessons learned from this novel and contentious work and related efforts that blends the elegance of basic science with the complexity of real-world decisions.
Mary Ruckelshaus, Natural Capital Project
Jodie Toft, Natural Capital Project
Anne Guerry, Natural Capital Project
Mary Boatman, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Sally McGee, The Nature Conservancy
In Practice: Reconciling Existing Uses with Emerging Uses