Integrated methodologies of economics and socio-economics assessments in Ocean Renewable Energy: private and public perspectives

Gordon Dalton, Grant J. Allan, Nicola Beaumont, Aliki Georgakaki, Nick Hacking, Tara Hooper, Sandy Kerr, Anne Marie O'Hagan, Kieran Reilly, Pierpaolo Ricci, Wanan Sheng, Tim Stallard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


This paper offers a holistic approach to the evaluation
of an ocean renewable energy (ORE) technology type or
specific project in order to provide a comprehensive
assessment of both narrow economic and broader socioeconomic
performance. This assessment incorporates
methods from three pillars areas: Economic - financial
returns and efficient use of resources, Social -
employment, social and community cohesion and identity,
and Environmental - including the physical environment
and pollution. These three pillars are then considered in
the broader context of governance. In order to structure
this evaluation, a novel parameter space model was
created, defined by the three pillars and by the scale of the
system under assessment. The scale of the system ranged
from individual components of an ORE project; to
projects comprising of a number of devices; through to a
geographic regions in which multiple farms may be
deployed. The parameter space consists of an inner circle
representing the boundary of interest for a private
investor, or a firm, developing an ORE project. The outer
circle is charactersised by assessment tools typically
employed at the broader stakeholder level including
economic, social, and environmental methods that can be
employed at local, regional or national scale and which are
typically employed to inform policy and decision making
regarding ORE. Governance sets the stage within which
management occurs. Wider impacts to the firm
undertaking the project will take into account
“externalities” of the project across the three fields. In this
model, key methods identified are mapped onto this
parameter space and the connectivity explored. The paper
demonstrates that the three pillars are inter-connected
and each must be considered in any meaningful
assessment of ORE sustainability. An integrated
assessment approach has the ability to address both the
private and the public aspects of an ORE development,
This analysis provides insights on existing best practice,
but also reveals the potential for disconnect between an
ORE project’s commercial viability and its contribution to
environmental and social goals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Marine Energy
Early online date23 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2016


  • Marine Energy


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