In March 2014 the European Marine Energy Centre Ltd (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 available for the marine renewable (wave and tidal) industry, identifying any areas requiring updating or for which new standards/guidelines may be required. This was achieved by running an industry-wide workshop event, attended by a wide range of industry groups including technology developers, industry consultants, test centres, and representatives from Government agencies, academia, and trade bodies.
The workshop was well received, with 56 out of 65 registered delegates attending. Completed questionnaires, designed to capture feedback on awareness and use of existing standards/guidelines and the need for new standards/guidelines, were submitted by 40 delegates. Feedback from the workshop showed that there was, in general, a low awareness of the existing standards/guidelines for the sector, with less than half of those who were aware of the documents actually having considered using them. The majority of delegates who had used the existing standards/guidelines believe that both the content and range are unsatisfactory.
Four areas previously raised by the industry as possible topics for new guidelines were distributed as draft summary scopes in advance of the workshop, then presented and discussed in greater detail during the workshop and topic-specific breakout sessions. In addition, four topics for potential development of new guidelines were identified by delegates during workshop discussions. A large number of workshop delegates (76% of those who submitted a completed questionnaire) indicated that they would be prepared to get involved in Working Groups for the development of new guidelines, although some would require their time to be funded.
The key recommendations from the project, which are discussed in Section 5, are that:
1. close collaboration with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) regarding the development of national and international standards should continue, and further work should be undertaken to promote awareness/use of the existing standards/guidelines across the wave and tidal industry (Section 5.1);
2. the four proposed standards/guidelines discussed in detail at this workshop should be further progressed (Section 5.4.2);
3. additional standards/guidelines in the four areas suggested by the group should be progressed (Section 5.4.3);
4. a centrally-managed, appropriately funded facility should be established to promote and oversee development and review of standards/guidelines for the marine energy sector (Section 5.2); Review of Standards/Guidelines for Marine Renewables (Wave & Tide) ORE Catapult 2
5. the processes involved in the development of new standards and guidelines, and the mechanism for engagement of experienced end-users in their creation and review, needs to be clearly documented (Section 5.3.1);
6. at a UK level, an improved mechanism for ensuring experienced end-user input to the development and review of standards/guidelines, should be established, actively promoted and facilitated (Sections 5.2 and 5.3.2);
7. the UK’s role in development and review of Standards needs to be supported (by Government) in order for the UK to maintain its leading role in this key area.
The initial version of this report has been revised to incorporate feedback from attendees at the workshop held in March 2014.