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

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    4 Citations (Scopus)
    37 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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