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There is a growing realisation of the enormous resource potential of marine renewable energy in the AA. However, a technological leap is required to deliver this form of energy on a scale which meets demand. It will require integration of a range of science, engineering and environmental expertise and technologies, together with the involvement of industry and all of the key stakeholders.

This project aims to provide high quality research results, adding diversity to the marine renewable energy sector and providing answers to fundamental questions regarding the provision of marine renewable energy, by bringing together experts from a wide range of backgrounds.

The outcomes will provide information on the energy extraction potential of the AA coastal waters and enable the prediction of both the impact of marine renewable energy devices on the environment (natural and human) and the impact of the environment on the performance of these devices. The environmental assessment methodologies developed will be applied to sites that have realistic potential for the exploitation of marine renewable energy, with partners in each country selecting a single demonstrator site.

Case studies will be undertaken by each partner at these sites and results and techniques used in these studies disseminated to all partners; inter-comparisons will be carried out on the results for all of the case studies. This work will also result in the development of a common methodology for Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment in all types of renewable energy fields and situations.

The project will also investigate the impact of climate change on the CO2 reduction figures, including CO2 release resulting from increased storminess and flooding. A series of climate change scenarios will also be simulated and design requirements for marine renewable energy devices developed for predicted altered hydrodynamic conditions present in coastal waters as a result of the impacts of climate change.

The mix and balance of different energy sources will be as important in the future to the sustainable spatial development of Europe as the development and exploitation of each type of energy itself, and the MAREN project concentrates on getting that balance right.

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