Marine Renewable Energy

Programme overview

The Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) research programme was a four-year collaborative programme with a budget of £2·4 million funded by NERC and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

The overall aim of the research programme was to understand the environmental benefits and risks of up-scaling marine renewable energy schemes on the quality of marine bioresources (including biodiversity) and biophysical dynamics of open coasts.

Background & objectives

This programme contributed to the evidence base predicting the environmental implications of future marine renewable energy options at appropriate scales, and to the research capacity to deliver decision support about the biophysical properties of coastal and marine environments to promote offshore and near-coastal renewables development with enhanced environmental benefits.

The MRE programme was a follow-on activity to two scoping activities commissioned by NERC to provide a review of the state of the science regarding the impacts and benefits of large-scale coastal and offshore marine renewable energy projects on ecosystems and biodiversity linked to offshore and coastal renewable energy structures and understanding changes in sediment dynamics linked to renewable energy structures.

Reports & key findings

The reports from the scoping studies are available below.

Scoping study 1

Potential ecological benefits and impacts of large-scale offshore and coastal renewable energy projects.

Scoping study 1 (PDF, 1.6MB)

Project leader: Plymouth Marine Laboratory & Scottish Association of Marine Science
Partners: ICES Hull

Scoping study 2

Research into Changes in Sediment Dynamics Linked to Marine Renewable Energy Installations.

Scoping study 2 (PDF, 1.8MB)

Project leader: Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory & British Geological Survey
Partners: Partrac Limited.

A full list of awards can be found on Grants on the Web.

View details of grants awarded as a result of the December 2010 sandpit event - external link