Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme
NERC funded the Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme (MREKEP) to catalyse the development of partnerships between the academic research base and industry, as well as regulators and policymakers, to accelerate the uptake of research to inform the sector.
The programme focused on developing existing NERC research and science capabilities to understand the potential impact of wave, wind and tidal technologies on the ecology and hydrodynamics of the marine environment, as well as facilitating development of innovative technologies and tools for environmental characterisation and monitoring.
It had five focus areas:
- Uncertainty and risk.
- Cumulative impact assessment.
- Underwater noise.
- Cost effective monitoring.
- Data access and management.
The programme has two principal strands of work aimed at building a sustainable future for the offshore renewable energy sector.
Firstly, it is facilitating development of stronger partnerships between the academic, public, private and third sector organisations by:
- Improving government and industry access to the science and innovation base.
- Improving co-ordination of research and innovation between government, industry and the research community.
- Developing collaborative R&D partnerships.
- Showcasing UK expertise in national and international forums.
Secondly, the programme aims to serve the needs of the offshore energy sector by:
- Facilitating the application, adaptation and creation of research products and services.
- Accelerating the uptake of NERC-funded research and data by relevant businesses and policymakers.
- Providing a conduit for obtaining information and feedback from research end users to inform NERC's future science strategy and research programme objectives.
Outputs and outcomes from knowledge exchange activities are provided below; more will be added as further pieces of work are completed.
The programme also provides a service to the sector by supplying information on news, events, research and testing, and funding opportunities. Horizon scanned news articles and signposting to data sources are made available through the Centre for Offshore Renewable Energy Research - external link - . Other information and alerts are provided through Twitter and by email - you can follow @MREKEP on Twitter - external link - or contact the team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to sign up for messages.
April 2011 - March 2015
The programme facilitated and supported knowledge exchange activities and projects to help address priority issues for the sector. Such projects were proposed by and developed with members of the community through a well defined process and reviewed by the project manager and an independent external reviewer to ensure the project aims aligned with the programme, achieve value for money and were likely to generate a significant impact.
Programme Advisory Group (PAG)
The programme is advised by a group of sector stakeholders including energy companies, regulatory bodies and academics. The group meets twice each year and its role is to oversee and advise on the programme's strategic direction. The group provides advice on proposed priorities and activities to help ensure the programme meets its goals, remains focused upon its objectives, and delivers high-quality, added-value outputs.
Programme Management Team
The day-to-day management of the programme is carried out by a Programme Management Team. The team comprises of members of NOC and NERC Swindon Office staff:
- NERC Swindon Office
- Sally Reid (programme manager)
- Knowledge Exchange Programme Team (NOC)
- Paul Bell (academic lead)
- Annie Linley (programme manager)
- Eleanor Ashton (programme administrator)
National Oceanography Centre
Popular articles and newsletters
- Environmental Interactions with Marine Renewable Energy (PDF, 8.7MB) - Marine Scientist No.40 August 2012
- MREKEP newsletter May 2013 (PDF, 412KB)
- MREKEP newsletter September 2013 (PDF, 348KB)
- MREKEP newsletter January 2014 (PDF, 206KB)
- MREKEP newsletter September 2014 (PDF, 365KB)
Business and policy internships
An assessment of the potential applications of AUV / gliders in offshore windfarm site surveys (PDF, 1MB)
Intern: James Hunt - Partner: MARS
Investigating the potential applications of existing AUV / glider technology and to assess the feasibility and needs of integrating these technologies into routine survey operations. Making recommendations as to how a collaborative programme of testing and demonstration might be taken forward to address any problems identified.
Automation and standardisation of a passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) system (PDF, 1.7MB)
Intern: Irene Voellmy - Partner: Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems
A project aiming to automate and simplify a military Passive Acoustic Monitoring system, to detect, classify and localise marine mammals by their emitted sounds.
De-risking structural loading calculations for marine renewable energy devices (PDF, 2.9MB)
Intern: Adrian Macleod - Partner: PML Applications Ltd
Combining data with statistical tools to develop an approach for better predicting the key physical characteristics of biofouling communities - useful when estimating structural loading on off-shore renewable energy structures. The ability to better predict biofouling community characteristics at the design and development stage will serve as a de-risking strategy.
Developing methods for cumulative impact assessment in relation to marine renewable and seabirds (PDF, 936KB)
Intern: Elizabeth Masden - Partner: RSPB
Improving the cumulative impact assessment process by scoping possible alternative methods which aren't currently used by the industry, and to determine whether it is possible to move such assessment from a largely qualitative process to a more quantitative one - including uncertainty around outcomes. Using data made available by RSPB to develop a case study.
NERC Knowledge Exchange (innovation) scheme project - Developing an avian collision risk model to incorporate variability and uncertainty
Model description (PDF, 797KB)
Worked example (PDF, 883KB)
Please contact Elizabeth.Masden@uhi.ac.uk for the model code.
Field demonstration of the capabilities of X-band radar for coastal remote sensing (PDF, 4.2MB)
Intern: David McCann - Partner: Meygen Ltd
Demonstrating the state of the art NERC-NOC marine radar remote sensing of coastal seas. Capabilities of the technology include bathymetric survey, current measurement, sea surface roughness analysis and small target tracking (marine wildlife, both airborne and seaborne).
Finding the gaps: a UK-based assessment of the Perth Wave Energy Project (PDF, 2.6MB)
Intern: Raeanne Miller - Partner: Carnegie Wave Power Ltd
A project to compare UK and Australian legislation and policy, and identify data and information to facilitate development of a wave energy site in the UK for Carnegie. This internship was followed by involvement in an Interreg IVB project - external link - to advance tidal energy knowledge and implementation.
Final report: Pro-Tide Work Package 2 Final Report (PDF, 1MB)
Identifying how better use of existing research and available tools could reduce project risk to streamline consenting within the South West Marine Energy Park (PDF, 1.1MB)
Intern: Matthew Ashley - Partners: Regen SW and Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Identifying the gaps and opportunities with developers, planners and stakeholders in the South West to define specific research priorities that could reduce difficulties in the consenting process regarding assessment of environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Marine mammal behavioural monitoring using acoustic technology at Delta Stream Demonstration site (PDF, 1.8MB)
Intern: Merin Broudic - Partner: Tidal Energy Ltd
A project to enable Tidal Energy Ltd to meet consenting requirements through understanding of marine mammal behaviour.
Optimising the capability of the 'Jon Buoy' for real time monitoring of environmental data in a tidal race (PDF, 1.2MB)
Intern: Ian Ashton - Partner: Mojo Maritime Ltd
Addressing technical barriers to integrating new sensors to Jon Buoy units, with input into their design and manufacture. Inputting to a large-scale field deployment to gather initial data for validation of new sensors, and scoping further developments for future design iterations.
Predicting movement of fishes in response to anthropogenic noise (PDF, 1.5MB)
Intern: Rick Bruintjes - Partner: HR Wallingford
Improving an existing modelling tool which predicts movements of marine fish in relation anthropogenic noise. Collecting the necessary behavioural data to improve the existing tool (HAMMER) and its applicability by using experimentally obtained parameters from important marine fish species, such as European sea bass.
Predictive tool to forecast the effects of noise on fish (PDF, 3MB)
Intern: Ilaria Spiga - Partners: HR Wallingford / SME Ltd / Natural England
A project to aid development and testing of models of fish behaviour around tidal turbines.
Intern: Rob Hiley - Partners: Marine Scotland
A model study and literature review to look at the representation of tidal turbines in FVCOM models.
Intern: Jiska DeGroot - Partners: 40SouthEnergy Ltd
Development of methods to streamline consenting processes through understanding public attitudes to wave energy - providing 40SouthEnergy Ltd with insight into stakeholder opinions in the Isles of Scilly.
Evaluation of a drifting porpoise localising array buoy (PDF, 2.3MB)
Intern: Chloe Malinka
Three masters projects supported by the MREKE programme:
- Comparative risk assessment of offshore oil and gas risks and offshore renewables installations (PDF, 4MB)
- Multi-criteria risk identification and maintenance optimisation of end of life scenarios for offshore wind farms (PDF, 2MB)
- Single score risk indicator for renewable energy projects (PDF, 2.7MB)
Guidance, protocols and position papers
- A guide to remote sensing for marine renewable energy (PDF, 6MB)
- Cumulative Effects Assessment mini review (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Cumulative Impact Assessment Guidelines (PDF, 355KB)
- Fine-scale acoustic telemetry as an offshore monitoring and research tool - Recommended practice. Daniel J Skerritt, Clare Fitzsimmons & Nicholas Polunin, November 2015 (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Marine Scotland Passive Acoustic Monitoring Guidance document (PDF, 270KB)
- Position paper - Impacts on Fish and Shellfish Ecology (PDF, 529KB)
- Position paper - Marine Mammal Impacts (PDF, 524KB)
- Position paper - Ornithological Impacts (PDF, 481KB)
- Underwater Acoustic Monitoring - Guidance for Regulators (PDF, 814KB)
- Adrian Macleod - De-risking structural loading calculations for marine renewable energy devices (PDF, 8MB)
- Annie Linley - Can NERC's Marine Renewable Energy Programmes deliver 'impact'? (PDF, 2.7MB)
- David McCann - Field demonstration of the capabilities of X-band radar for coastal remote sensing (PDF, 4.9MB)
- Elizabeth Masden - Developing methods for cumulative impact assessment in relation to marine renewable and seabirds (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Ian Ashton - Optimising the capability of the 'Jon Buoy' for real time monitoring of environmental data in a tidal race (PDF, 2.5MB)
- Ilaria Spiga - Predictive tool to forecast the effects of noise on fish (PDF, 796KB)
- James Hunt - An assessment of the potential applications of AUV / gliders in offshore windfarm site surveys (PDF, 905KB)
- Jiska DeGroot - Streamlining wave and tidal consenting processes though understanding public attitudes - external link - YouTube video
- Matthew Ashley - Identifying how better use of existing research and available tools could reduce project risk to streamline consenting within the SWMEP (PDF, 1.6MB)
- Merin Broudic - Marine mammal behavioural monitoring using acoustic technology at Delta Stream Demonstration site - external link - YouTube video
- Raeanne Miller - Finding the gaps: a UK-based assessment of the Perth Wave Energy Project - external link -
- Rick Bruintjes - Predicting movement of fisheries in response to anthropogenic noise (PDF, 669KB)
- Rob Hiley - Simulation of extraction of tidal stream energy by a turbine within a 3D FVCOM model (PDF, 492KB)
- Elizabeth Masden - A review of avian collision risk models (PDF, 294KB)
- Webinar recording and presentations - Special Session on Marine Renewable Energy at Ocean Business, Southampton, April 2015 - external link
- Application of an integrated risk framework (PDF, 133KB)
- Investigation of potential modifications of a passive acoustic monitoring system for wider commercial use (PDF, 2.3MB)
- Assessing the implications of saltmarsh environments for managed realignment: a literature review (PDF, 763KB). A summary report produced as part of the Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme - E Waddington and RC Ballinger (2016).
- Public use and perception of managed realignment sites on the Severn Estuary - 2016, A pilot study into the public use and perception of the Steart managed realignment site (PDF, 924KB). A report produced as part of the Marine Renewable Energy Exchange Programmes - E Waddington (2016).
- Publication list from the NERC-Defra Marine Renewable Energy research programme
- Access and search the NERC Open Research Archive - external link - (NORA) online.
- Marine mammal population sensitivity (PDF, 1.3MB)
- Investigating the co-existence of fisheries and offshore renewable energy in the UK: identification of a mitigation agenda for fishing effort displacement - external link - J de Groot, M Campbell, M Ashley, L Rodwell. Ocean & Coastal Management, 102 (2014), pages 7-18.
- An interim framework for assessing the population consequences of disturbance - external link - SL King, RS Schick, C Donovan, CG Booth, M Burgman, L Thomas, J Harwood. (2015), Methods in Ecology and Evolution, volume 6, pages 1150-1158.
- Avian collision risk models for wind energy impact assessments - external link - EA Masden, ASCP Cook, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 56, January 2016, pages 43-49, ISSN 0195-9255.
- Ecosystem service mapping in the Severn estuary - external link -
a nontechnical summary (PDF, 1MB) is available.
- More publications (for example, related work from after the conclusion of the KE programme) can be found in NERC research outputs.
- CCW/JNCC/NERC workshop - Assessing the risks to marine mammal populations from renewable energy devices (PDF, 1.2MB)
- Sensitivity analysis (PDF, 1.3MB)
- ORJIP - external link Project 2: Evidence Gathering for Population Consequences of Acoustic Disturbance (PCAD) model
- A submission to 2014 SPAG process health ecology as an early warning system for marine population conservation
- A Protocol for Implementing the Interim Population Consequences of Disturbance (PCoD) Approach: Quantifying and Assessing the Effects of UK Offshore Renewable Energy Developments on Marine Mammal Populations - external link
- More information about PCOD - external link
- EIMR 2012 workshop - Biofouling (PDF, 87KB)
- EIMR 2012 workshop - Fisheries and marine renewable energy interactions (PDF, 318KB)
- EIMR 2012 workshop - Planned edge (PDF, 542KB)
- Other related information is available from the ISSMER network website - external link.
- EMEC/MREKE workshop - Acoustics for regulators (PDF, 1.1MB)
- MAREMAP workshop - Developing the MAREMAP toolbox for the marine renewable energy industry (PDF, 906KB)
- Other related information is available from the MAREMAP website - external link.
- NERC/The Crown Estate workshop - Wave and tidal research priorities (PDF, 1.8MB)
- SOFI/MREKE workshop - Anthropogenic noise (PDF, 143KB)
- Workshop - Using individual-based models to de-risk the consenting process for the environmental effects of marine renewables developments: Adaptation of SAFESIMM software (PDF, 59KB)
- Fisheries-renewables interactions final workshop report York 2013 (PDF, 688KB)
- EIMR 2014 workshop reports - external link
The programme supported four workshops at this conference:
- Understanding cumulative impacts, from pre-consent predictive CIA to post - consent monitoring at multiple project sites
- Statistics, data analysis, survey design
- Quantifying wildlife collision risks with tidal turbines
- Managing risk: from generic risk management to developers perspectives