Wind energy is considered one of the most promising clean technologies for power generation. For the sustainable development of this industry, it is essential that planning integrate spatial zoning with estimates of installed capacity and energy production. A Geographic Information System-based methodology was developed to propose planning for wind farms from a spatial perspective in the extreme south of Brazil. Through multi-criteria evaluation, the feasibility of the study area for this activity was analyzed according to suitability and constraint criteria. The assessment of suitability was based on wind energy exploitation, while the constraint analysis was based on the environmental legislation, social aspects and exclusion areas. In the suitability analysis, importance weights were assigned to the variables according to the unprecedented combination of the Delphi, linear and geometric Analytic Hierarchy Process methods. Constraint and suitability maps were established for the wind farms. The integration of both aspects allowed the generation of a spatial zoning map. Based on this zoning, installed capacity was calculated according to technical characteristics of a reference wind turbine. Finally, energy production of the suitable zones was estimated. The proposed spatial planning aims to contribute to the licensing processes in southern Brazil. Furthermore, the methodology developed can be replicated in other similar case studies.
Coastal and Offshore Energy
Over the past decade, the increasing demand for renewable energy has driven the rapid development of China's offshore wind industry. However, it is not clear to developers and management departments which types of sea areas can be used for offshore wind projects. According to the provincial marine functional zoning (MFZ), China's coastal provinces have put offshore wind zoning (OWZ) into practice. This paper clarifies the method of OWZ, collects the results from offshore wind zones (OWZs) of 10 coastal provinces, and assesses the characteristics of OWZs by area, functional attribute and distance from the coastline. The results show that most of the areas available for offshore wind are co-existence zones where offshore wind can be sited in an agricultural and fisheries zone, an industrial and urban construction zone, a special-use zone, etc. Currently, 47% of existing offshore wind projects have been located in the OWZs in the East China Sea. Moreover, parts of the coastline distance of OWZs do not meet the “double-ten principle” in China or global siting trends. Generally, the existing areas for OWZ would allow China to meet its national target by 2020, but measures still need to be taken to meet the demands of conservation and sea-use management.
This article has an empirical focus on energy transition using the emerging offshore renewable energy (ORE) industries in the context of global governance. First, it explores and assesses pertinent discussions on sustainability and transformation within energy systems and the marine space. Then, it studies potential policy linkages within ORE governance which, although relying on clearly defined objectives and targets (e.g. climate change mitigation, increased share of renewable energy, energy security), could translate into polycentricity and institutional complexity/fragmentation. Previous research has focused on the technical, legal and policy challenges of deploying ORE technologies, however there is not any systematic review of who are its global governors. Certainly, the importance of the International Renewable Energy Agency and other renewable energy intergovernmental institutions has not been overlooked. Nevertheless, there are other international organisations whose mandate extends beyond renewable energy and several non-state actors who claim a role in ORE governance. This article puts forward a comprehensive analysis of the institutional architecture of global ORE governance with emphasis on the EU in order to shed a light on how ORE is being governed and who is involved. Results should advance knowledge on the scope, type and function of the institutions currently governing the exploration and exploitation of offshore renewable resources.
Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) can offer significant benefits in terms of economic conservation strategies, optimizing spatial planning and minimizing the impact on the environment. In this paper, we focused on the application of multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) technique for co-locating offshore wind farms and open-water mussel cultivation. An index of co-location sustainability (SI) was developed based on the application of MCE technique constructed with physical and biological parameters on the basis of remote sensing data. The relevant physical factors considered were wind velocity, depth range, concerning the site location for energy production, and sea surface temperature anomaly. The biological variables used were Chlorofill-a (as a measurement of the productivity) and Particle Organic Carbon (POC) concentration, in order to assess their influence on the probable benefits and complete the requirements of this management framework. This SI can be easily implemented to do a first order selection of the most promising areas to be more specifically studied in a second order approach based on local field data
In this work, an extended overview of the marine renewable energy in the Mediterranean Sea is provided as regards current status, potential problems, challenges, and perspectives of development. An integrated and holistic approach is necessary for the economic viability and sustainability of marine renewable energy projects; this approach comprises three different frameworks, not always aligned, i.e., geotechnical/engineering, socio-economic, and environmental/ecological frameworks. In this context, the geomorphological, climatological, socio-economic, and environmental/ecological particularities of the Mediterranean basin are discussed, as they constitute key issues of the spatial context in which marine renewable energy projects are to be implemented. General guidelines for the sustainable development of marine renewable energy in the Mediterranean are also provided.
Previous research on offshore wind farm (OWF) siting has been dominated by studies centred on energy resources and profitability, human activities and acceptance. Recently, studies on environmental impacts of OWFs have emerged. Few studies have been carried out to discuss the issues comprehensively. This study develops a set of comprehensive OWF siting criteria; including the profitability, social, security and environmental considerations. It solicits expert opinions from academia and industry through an international Delphi method. Contrary to the typical consensus seeking in Delphi studies, it focuses on understanding the dissensus through a comprehensive discussion. We find that profitability and social considerations are the most commonly agreed siting criteria among the experts whereas environmental and security criteria receive less agreement. As OWFs move further offshore, we are concerned about the understanding of the associated environmental impacts, and how energy and marine policy affect the marine spatial planning and consenting process. Research must get ahead of the developments to provide a better understanding of the potential impacts and to guide the consenting and monitoring processes.
The offshore wind industry is expanding rapidly around the world due to several factors enabling this source of renewable energy. Stronger wind resources in offshore areas, lack of social and geographical constraints related to onshore wind power, the evolution of technology, and increasing demand for electricity in coastal regions as a result of a massive increase in population are some of the factors favoring the use of wind energy. The assessment of the potential global capacity that considers the different economic, environmental, and social factors and the dynamics of market, policy, and technology are vital for estimating the competitiveness of offshore wind energy in the future energy profile. There are several studies and technical reports that evaluate the potential of offshore wind energy in different countries or regions. They used a different source of data, metrics, and quantitative approaches in appraising the potential offshore wind power capacity and its cost efficiency. The critical factors that have been considered are geographical, technical, economic, environmental, and social and market elements. This paper provides a systematic review for analyzing the studies that address the potential offshore wind energy around the world and published during the 2000–2016 period. This study highlights the key criteria for assessing the potential for offshore wind energy deployment and the related tools and methods.
Competing usage of marine space has prompted several coastal nations to implement marine spatial planning (MSP). While progressive governments promote the deployment of renewable energy technologies (RETs) in order to meet renewable energy capacity and greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets, offshore RETs become another player operating within a finite and already stressed marine environment. This paper applies the sectoral MSP process employed by Scotland to the Nova Scotia context in order to draft a MSP for the province's tidal energy sector. Applicable legislation is reviewed in order to establish the regulatory authorities with powers to plan for both the marine development and ecosystem protection agendas. The scoping process identifies suitable resource areas based on the operational parameters of commercially viable tidal current turbines (TCTs), while the sustainability appraisal identifies areas of cultural, industry, ecological, and socioeconomic constraint and exclusion. Plan option areas emanating from the applied methodology demonstrated a 238.345 km2 (98.1%) increase in suitable TCT deployment area than the marine renewable energy areas identified in Nova Scotia's Marine Renewable Energy Act which did not undertake such a methodology.
The Canary Islands, as many islands and coastal regions, are characterized by no conventional energy sources (but renewable resources, mainly wind and solar), by a high population density and land scarcity. Taking into account this context, it is crucial to determine the offshore wind energy potential as a first step for the energy planning. For this purpose, a methodology adapted to islands’ and coastal regions’ requirements has been developed. The methodology is based on GIS (Geographical Information Systems), and takes into account technical, economic and spatial constrains. Wind turbines (bottom-fixed or floating according to the bathymetry) are placed within the resulting suitable areas, quantifying also the energy production and its cost. The economic analysis includes the calculation of the LCOE (Levelized Cost Of Energy), including integration costs, and the resulting resource cost curves. The methodology has been applied to a practical case, the Canary Islands. Results show that the electricity produced by offshore wind farms exceeds the yearly electricity demand. Moreover, the offshore wind energy cost is lower than the current electricity cost. The analysis provides further useful indicators such as percentage of suitable areas, surface covered by wind turbines, array density of turbines and marginal offshore wind energy cost.
Wind turbines continuously remove kinetic energy from the lower troposphere, thereby reducing the wind speed near hub height. The rate of electricity generation in large wind farms containing multiple wind arrays is, therefore, constrained by the rate of kinetic energy replenishment from the atmosphere above. In recent years, a growing body of research argues that the rate of generated power is limited to around 1.5 W m−2 within large wind farms. However, in this study, we show that considerably higher power generation rates may be sustainable over some open ocean areas. In particular, the North Atlantic is identified as a region where the downward transport of kinetic energy may sustain extraction rates of 6 W m−2 and above over large areas in the annual mean. Furthermore, our results indicate that the surface heat flux from the oceans to the atmosphere may play an important role in creating regions where sustained high rates of downward transport of kinetic energy and thus, high rates of kinetic energy extraction may be geophysical possible. While no commercial-scale deep water wind farms yet exist, our results suggest that such technologies, if they became technically and economically feasible, could potentially provide civilization-scale power.