Sea area, safety, navigation and fishing 2.01.2012
SAFETY EVEN FOR UNAUTHORISED ACCESS A RINA-certified risk assessment proves that the H24 machines are safe even when approached by unauthorised personnel (or large marine animals) during operation!
COMPARISON WITH OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE The consented area for the Wave Energy Park itself is very similar to the one necessary for offshore aquaculture, although in the Wave Energy case the environmental impact of the installation is much lower. In both cases there is a sea area which will be affected by the installation, rather than isolated points as in an offshore wind park. The consented sea area needs to be interdicted to dragnet fishing (and if possible to navigation except for emergency situations, to minimize the impact on the production of energy determined by ships crossing the area).
Contrary to aquaculture, the Wave Energy installation does not emit any chemicals or pollutants in the sea, and also the acoustic and electromagnetic emissions are extremely limited and within tolerance levels also of marine mammals. Gorgona Island is inside a marine sanctuary where many species of marine mammals (dolphins, whales) live, and nonetheless the Park authorities gave the go ahead to the Wave Energy park, on the basis of the above considerations.
COMPARISON WITH OFFSHORE WIND The concession of the area, to be used for the production of electricity, will benefit significantly from the presence in the jurisdiction of a documented process for the concession of marine areas for offshore wind parks. The similarity in this case is very close, both in terms of economic impact and value estimate and in terms of grid or user connection and the concession of incentives (if at all available). Also in this case however the environmental impact of the Wave Energy Park is much lower than that of an offshore wind park, both in terms of impact on sea life and in terms of visual impact.
PERCEIVED INTERFERENCE WITH FISHING The main obstacle to the concession of the area is the relationship with fishermen, who might perceive the Wave Energy Park as a limitation to their activity. In reality, the presence of a Wave Energy Park has provided advantages to the local fishing community in the cases which we can document. This is because the Wave Energy Park is naturally a source of increased sea life. In any case the footprint of the Wave Energy Park is very small, and therefore its effective impact on fishing is limited.
It should be noted that the Wave Energy Park will have the same goals as the local fishing community: a healthy local economy, good employment level for people going at sea, secure and regulated access to the sea resources, effective and useful monitoring of the sea. The presence of a Wave Energy Park can help the local fishing community perform a generation jump in terms of productivity and security of its activity: for example, the WEP is a monitoring hub of the sea conditions, of the fish population and of the actual fishing activity performed near it. The local fishermen can use the sensors of the WEP to know the wave climate, temperature, and general sea conditions around the Wave Energy Converters.
ABSENCE OF INTERFERENCE WITH NAVIGATION Our Wave devices can be installed in front of major harbors, because they can be sunk to avoid collision with ships. If the port control has an override to the automatic depth control of the machines, it can sink them when it envisages possible problems with transits. This is a distinctive advantage of our technology with respect to all other offshore marine energy technologies.