Identification of Outer Continental Shelf Renewable Energy Space-use Conflicts and Analysis of Potential Mitigation Measures

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U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 2012 - Continental shelf - 225 pages
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"Literature and information provided by stakeholders during research for this study suggest a broad menu of avoidance and mitigation strategies available for consideration in those instances when an offshore renewable energy project does, or is anticipated to, create a conflict with another ocean use. As Table 8-3 indicates, each of the 31 identified strategies has potential relevance in the context of one or more conflict types, ocean uses with which a project might be in conflict, and project phase. While BOEM has exclusive or shared implementation authority for only 12 of the 31 identified strategies, the degree of coordination among Federal agencies that is expected to occur at various stages of a project's lifecycle suggests that BOEM should at least have an opportunity to influence the consideration and implementation of any actions taken to avoid or mitigate conflict. This study also highlights the important role of the stakeholder engagement process (specifically, those actions that occur before any consideration of the need for avoidance or mitigation strategies) and the value of establishing an effective communication and process platform with the objectives of (1) making the need for mitigation a less frequent occurrence, and (2) facilitating quicker resolutions when mitigation does become necessary and appropriate. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that management of offshore renewable energy development is a new and evolving challenge. While we can learn from and build upon the offshore wind energy experience already gained in other markets (most notably Europe), as well as from the implementation of avoidance and mitigation strategies that have been successfully employed in other (non-renewable energy) contexts, the conflicts created by offshore renewable energy development (inclusive of the construction, operation and decommissioning phases), and the most appropriate conflict management techniques, will truly be known only upon completion of at least one utility-scale project in U.S. waters."--Conclusion.

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