Report of final project conference, Aalborg, Denmark
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The Streamlining of Ocean Wave Farms Impact Assessment (SOWFIA) Project (IEE/09/809/ SI2.558291) is an EU Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) funded project that draws together ten partners, across eight European countries, who are actively involved with planned wave farm test centres. The SOWFIA project aims to achieve the sharing and consolidation of pan-European experience of consenting processes and environmental and socio-economic impact assessment (IA) best practices for offshore wave energy conversion developments. Studies of wave farm demonstration projects in each of the collaborating EU nations are contributing to the findings. The study sites comprise a wide range of device technologies, environmental settings and stakeholder interests. Through project workshops, meetings, on-going communication and networking amongst project partners, ideas and experiences relating to IA and policy are being shared, and co-ordinated studies addressing key questions for wave energy development are being carried out. The overall goal of the SOWFIA project is to provide recommendations for approval process streamlining and European-wide streamlining of IA processes, thereby helping to remove legal, environmental and socio-economic barriers to the development of offshore power generation from waves. By utilising the findings from technology-specific monitoring at multiple sites, SOWFIA will accelerate knowledge transfer and promote European-wide expertise on environmental and socio-economic impact assessments of wave energy projects. In this way, the development of the future, commercial phase of offshore wave energy installations will benefit from the lessons learned from existing smaller-scale developments.
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