Choosing wave energy devices for community-led marine energy development
As we pursue more justice and community driven renewable energy projects, more decision making is put in the hands of community leaders. Appropriate tools and resources are necessary for communities to determine what wave energy developer might fit their community needs and wave resource. While there are methods and tools for communities, researchers and wave energy developers to determine the wave resource or potential locations for wave energy development, we are lacking a tool to help communities take the next steps in pursuing wave energy.
A community driven design process was undertaken in Sitka, AK, in conjunction with evaluating the local area for wave energy resource. The community had interest in wave energy development, a decent wave resource area accessible, and existing maritime expertise that could aid in operations and maintenance. Further, as a remote island, the community viewed alternative energy development positively as a way to achieve more energy independence. Still, in this community driven process, we identified a gap that while the community may be interested in a wave energy project, there was little data on which wave energy devices would be appropriate for the community and few tools to help them choose.
This presentation will highlight questions that the participants from Sitka, AK still have after engaging in a community centered design process. We compare the requirements that the community prioritizes with the tools that researchers and developers have to evaluate those requirements, allowing assessment of whether these tools are useable and adequate for community use. We also show an analysis of a selection of current wave energy developers with some of the community focused factors and proposals for tools that may be useful in future community energy development. This research ultimately highlights what factors must be presented to a community for them to choose to pursue installation of a device.
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