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Multi-Sector Ocean Use: Traditional and Alternative Energy

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  1. Multi-Sector Ocean Use:Traditional and Alternative Energy MAFAC Meeting May 13, 2009 Monterey, CA Tom Bigford

  2. NOAA has an important energy role • Understanding and predicting changes to Earth’s environment • Products and services • Statutory authority for OTEC licensing • Marine environment stewardship and trustee responsibilities • Increased role as traditional energy sectors expand and marine renewables evolve • Working with industry and others to move forward

  3. NOAA’s Engagement in Energy • Lubchenco interest • NOAA Ocean Council priority • NOAA Energy Team • NMFS Information Exchange

  4. MAFAC’s Engagementin Energy? • Fisheries (economic impacts) • Spatial displacement (de facto MPAs, navigational) • Gear modifications • Habitat • Site-specific effects • Multi-array and ecosystem effects • Protected Resources • Entanglement • Other “takings”

  5. NOAA’s Statutory Responsibilitiesfor Energy Issues • Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act • Endangered Species Act • Marine Mammal Protection Act • National Environmental Policy Act • Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act • National Marine Sanctuaries Act • Coastal Zone Management Act • Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Act • The Federal Power Act • Oil Pollution Act • Deepwater Ports Act

  6. TRADITIONAL: Oil and Gas Liquefied Natural Gas Hydropower Nuclear Power ALTERNATIVE: Offshore Wind Hydrokinetic (Ocean Current, Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream) Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Energy Issues by Sector

  7. Traditional Energy Sectors • Offshore Oil and Gas • Liquefied Natural Gas • Hydropower • Nuclear Power

  8. Alternative Energy Technology Characteristics • Multitude of individual generating units • Expansive spatial footprint • Significant engineering challenges • Uncertainties regarding impacts • Siting criteria and operating parameters • Environmental data collection/in-water testing • Shallow capitalization; slow maturation • Balancing promotion and precaution • Adaptive Management

  9. Offshore Wind Energy • More than 900,000 MW of potential wind energy exist off the U.S. coast – more than half of this is in the North Atlantic. • Currently no commercial wind facilities operating on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, but proposals are being discussed. NOAA provides consultations on the impacts of any proposals on agency trust resources.

  10. Hydrokinetic Energy Electricity from “waves, tides, and currents in oceans, estuaries, and tidal areas; free flowing water in rivers, lakes and streams; free flowing water in man-made channels…”

  11. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion • Potential NOAA concerns: • Entrainment and impingement • Effects of localized temperature changes • Increased nutrients in surface waters

  12. Pilot Hydrokinetic R&D • Baseline information: ecological, socio-economic, historic-cultural, aesthetic • Pilot project monitoring: installation, operation and maintenance, decommissioning and removal • Bioengineering: designing prototypes to prevent or reduce adverse ecological effects • Model development: extrapolation of individual impacts to commercial levels; assessing cumulative impacts • “Fish” “Passage” in the ocean

  13. ‘Commercial’ Hydrokinetic R&D • Expanded project monitoring: refining siting criteria, sensitive area closures • Continued bioengineering: adjusting technology capabilities and operating parameters to individual species characteristics • Multiple-array and ecosystem-level impact modeling • Information exchange (repository/clearinghouse) • Independent research capacity

  14. Challenges • Difficulty in balancing multiple uses of the marine environment • Scientific uncertainty and lack of information associated with direct and cumulative impacts • New forms of collaboration with outside partners needed • Energy issues represent a substantial workload for NOAA staff, as traditional sectors expand and new sectors evolve

  15. Opportunities • Working with new energy sectors; industry inviting NOAA participation • NOAA data and data collection expertise can assist the design of new technologies • Rare opportunity to avoid and mitigate impacts at early stages • Input into the design of new regulatory processes

  16. Evolving Regulatory and Legislative Framework • FERC • MMS • FERC and MMS MOU • Legislation

  17. Considerations • Two-stage pilot process • Sensitive area designations • Thresholds for permits • Strict performance targets • Limited access • Permit/license moratoria • Monitoring protocols • Adaptive management metrics

  18. Considerations for MAFAC • Competing Uses • Marine Spatial Planning • Get involved • Stakeholder meetings • Agency briefings • State/Federal workshops

  19. Further information: Tom Bigford National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Habitat Conservation Silver Spring, MD 20910 PH: 301/713-4300 x131 Email: thomas.bigford@noaa.gov