The emerging marine renewable energy industry needs to continue to establish credibility by developing proven reliable technologies for energy conversion from both wave and tidal stream resources. The commercial potential of the technologies rests in demonstrating reliability of performance and an acceptable cost of energy. Innovation is required not only in device design and initial feasibility and reliability testing, but also for developing efficiencies across the scope of all activities from design, manufacture, operations and maintenance, through to final project decommissioning. Standards and guidelines are therefore fundamental to the successful development of this industry.
In 2007 the European Marine Energy Centre Ltd (EMEC) facilitated the development of a suite of twelve standards for use by the marine renewable industry. Each document was written by an acknowledged expert, and progressed by a working group made up of individuals representing technology developers, regulators, academia, utilities, and project developers. These twelve standards were published in 2009 (see www.emec.org.uk/standards for full details). Technical Committee 114: Marine Energy – Wave and Tidal Energy Converters (TC114) was created by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 2007 with the purpose of developing international standards for marine energy conversion systems. Six of the twelve standards described above were submitted as part of a suggested work programme for TC114.
As with all industries, it is important that standards and guidelines are reviewed regularly, and any requirement for improvements to existing, or development of new standards is identified and progressed. In recognition of its close industry contacts and past association with the development of standards and guidelines for the wave and tidal stream sectors, EMEC was funded by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE Catapult) to collaborate in a project to undertake a consensus review of the existing standards and guidelines, identifying any areas requiring updating, or for which new standards/guidelines are required. This was carried out through an industry-wide workshop event, free to attend, and disseminated widely amongst a range of industry groups.
The key aims of the project were to:
- Review the existing suite of twelve standards facilitated by EMEC for the sector in 2007 and identify any areas that require updating;
- Investigate and report the requirements for new standards or guidelines;
- Propose an outline for key new standards or guidelines based on discussions at a targeted workshop;
- Provide other recommendations related to the production and application of standards and guidelines for the wave and tidal stream sectors in the UK (and beyond).
The purpose of this document is to report on activities from the workshop, including recommendations for progressing the development of standards and guidelines for the marine renewable energy industry.