Tethys is an online knowledge management system that provides marine renewable energy (MRE) and offshore wind (OSW) energy communities with access to information and scientific literature on the environmental effects of devices. Named after the Greek titaness of the sea, the goal of the Tethys database is to promote environmental stewardship and the advancement of the wind and marine renewable energy communities. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in support of the US Department of Energy (DOE) [Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Wind and Water Power Technologies Office)] . Tethys hosts information and activities associated with two international collaborations known as Annex IV and WREN,
As industry, academia, and government seek to develop new renewable energy sources, there is an opportunity to gather potential environmental effects of these technologies. Tethys aims to evaluate and measure the effects of aquatic life on habitats and habitats, and is not adversely affected. Tethys attempts to create a centralized hub where this information can be found. Each document is labeled with an environmental “stressor”, “receptor”, and “interaction” which categorizes the type of potential harm, the affected area of the environment, and the means by which the potential impact may occur.
IEA Ocean Energy Systems (OES) to review environmental effects of ocean energy projects and research. There is currently a wide range of ocean energy technologies and devices in development around the world; the few data that exist on environmental effects of these technologies are dispersed among different countries and developers. While the US Department of Energy is the operating agent, currently (as of January 2018) 12 out of 25 national involved in the OES initiative are involved: Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. There have been three phases of this initiative:
While encouraging collaboration, products included two international workshops, a report, and a collection of metadata forms on project sites and research studies. The first workshop was held in Dublin Ireland in September 2010, drawing 58 international experts from various backgrounds to identify the key interactions between the device and the environment. The second workshop was also held in Dublin Ireland in October 2012, drawing 55 international experts from nine countries Tethys for content and functionality, to provide feedback on the report, and to guide future Annex IV activities. The final report focused on the three case studies:
Due to the success of the first phase, a second phase was suggested by all parties involved. The primary vision was to identify analysts for each country involved, who could act as the point of contact for all Annex IV activities. Tethys to support a community of experts, five international workshops, and a report. The first workshop was held in Seattle, USA in June 2013, drawing 36 international experts to discuss instrumentation around devices. The second workshop was held in Stornoway UK in April 2014, drawing 45 international participants to discuss best practices for monitoring around devices. The third workshop was held in Wolfville Canada in November 2014, drawing 25 international participants to identify environmental monitoring, regulatory needs, and scientific capabilities to encourage the progress of the industry. The fourth workshop was held in Nantes France in September 2015, drawing 61 international participants to review the planned state of the science report. The fifth workshop was held in Edinburgh UK in February 2016, drawing 40 international participants to examine the collision risk for marine mammals around tidal turbines. These workshops were supplemented with a strong presence at most international conferences on marine renewable energy and the environment. A thriving international community has been fostered by the webmaster and the occasional expert forum, where topical experts from around the world would engage in discussion around controversial subjects. Bi-weekly newsletters and the collection and dissemination of information have also contributed to the international community. The culmination of this phase of Annex IV came with the publication of the 2016 State of the Science report, a detailed description of the environmental effects of marine renewable energy development around the world, derived from the years of international cooperation. The executive summary of the report is available in seven languages and summaries of each environmental issue is available in French. The culmination of this phase of Annex IV came with the publication of the 2016 State of the Science report, a detailed description of the environmental effects of marine renewable energy development around the world, derived from the years of international cooperation. The executive summary of the report is available in seven languages and summaries of each environmental issue is available in French. The culmination of this phase of Annex IV came with the publication of the 2016 State of the Science report, a detailed description of the environmental effects of marine renewable energy development around the world, derived from the years of international cooperation. The executive summary of the report is available in seven languages and summaries of each environmental issue is available in French.
Annex IV has been approved for a 4-year extension of information gathering, and (3) involving the community to support research and monitoring needs. This phase will continue with the most ongoing activities, while expanding the regulatory and social socio-economic issues. The phase will again culminate with a large report and conference partnerships.
WREN (Working Together to Resolve Environmental Effects of Wind Energy), also known as Task 34, was established by the IEA Wind Committee to address environmental issues associated with commercial development of land-based and offshore wind energy projects. While the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the operating agent, currently (as of January 2018) 11 out of 24 nations involved in IEA Wind is involved: Canada, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland , the United Kingdom, and the United States. There has been two phases of this initiative:
The goal of WREN is to facilitate international collaboration, but the training of a community of practice in research, monitoring and management of the environmental effects of wind energy development. Two key products have been developed during phase 1: 1) WREN Hub (or Tethys) has global knowledge base where all is focused on adaptive management.
The second phase of WREN will include the expansion of WREN Hub, the development of several white papers, the continuation of the webinar series, and outreach and engagement efforts. All these activities are aimed at supporting the expansion of land-based and offshore wind energy deployment.
Additional functionality is usually added to Tethys in response to peer reviews, surveys, and general comments from users. However, there are some other functions that you would like to learn from, to search through the data, and learn more about the new and exciting field of renewable energy.
The Knowledge Base is a list of the most important features of the alphabetical column sorting, facet box selection, and keyword search to allow users to easily sift through the information. Over 3300 media articles, articles, reports, websites, conference papers, presentations, workshop articles, theses, books, book sections, videos, datasets, magazine articles, project website information, and research study information. This is a growing database, where they are newly published.
The interactive Map Viewer shows the locations of geo-tagged project sites, research studies, and documents gathered from across the world. More than 2100 items appear on the map, a subset of the information available in the Knowledge Base. Users can interact with the map with zooming and panning functions, box selection, and a keyword search. Selecting one of the icons will reveal a specific page with more in-depth information. This is a growing database, where they are newly published.
In a effort to connect members of this growing community, Tethys is meant to act as a hub, providing resources and contacts for those looking for information. One way is by providing links to similar databases that can be used in different ways. Another page lists summaries of the regulatory frameworks in the major countries, providing links to agencies and laws rather than going into detail. There is also an extensive database of about 1,200 organisms involved in marine and renewable energy and the environment, providing a list of affiliated publications with the organization and some basic information.
Tethys also houses multimedia in the broadcast tab, meant to engage users in the Tethys community. Everything is freely available to the public and easily searchable.
Tethys began in 2011 hosted on a Semantic MediaWiki platform, but migrated to Drupal in early 2013. Drawing on many years of experience and systems development , and multimedia products. Content is regularly monitored and curated, though suggestions from the user community are always welcome.
Whereas Tethys is an internationally recognized resource for information on environmental impacts of offshore renewable energy. This blog will be updated to include regular blogging, quarterly webinars, online expert forums, conference engagement, and social media.