AbstractIsland and remote coastal communities face some of the most challenging environments for building, operating, and maintaining energy infrastructure, as well as the highest costs for electricity, fuels, and other essential energy sources. As sea-levels rise and storms become more intense and frequent, these communities and the energy infrastructure that supports coastal lives and livelihoods are also at increasing risk from natural hazards. To address these challenges, many coastal communities are envisioning energy solutions that will support the triple bottom line goals of the blue economy: economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social equity. Yet, island and remote coastal communities often face limited resources and capacity to tackle complex energy and coastal resilience issues. To support community-driven energy transitions in island and remote communities, and to better understand relationships between energy, community, and ecosystem resilience, the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has initiated the development of a Deployment Readiness Framework (DRF). The objective of the work is to co-produce and test practical tools and approaches that assess the readiness of coastal communities for marine energy demonstration, deployment, and operation. The DRF aims to build on and support the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Program (ETIPP) and other community-oriented energy transition programs. This project is jointly led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The development of the DRF includes three main phases: 1) a learning phase involving stakeholder engagement and literature review to synthesize metrics of community readiness to advance through an energy transition and to understand the state of the research and practice of participatory science-policy processes in various sectors, 2) a design phase to define readiness approaches and tools that will be developed as part of the DRF, and 3) an implementation phase to create the applications and interfaces for WPTO and the national laboratories to interact with the DRF. All three phases include close collaboration with communities and end-users of the framework, first to identify gaps in the science and tools needed to achieve community-driven energy transition goals and second, to test and improve the framework iteratively. Through technical assistance programs like ETIPP and utilizing the completed DRF to understand the influencing factors which motivate or deter energy transitions, WPTO hopes to engage a number of near-term marine energy demonstration opportunities. Here we report on the results from the literature review (Subtask 1.1) to inform the stakeholder engagement (Subtask 1.2) and design phase (Task 2) of the project.
Published: November 6, 2022