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Project Report

Aqua-RET Marine Renewable Energy E-learning Project

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Client: Aquatic Renewable Energy Technologies
Date: 2006 - 2009
Location: European Union

Aquatic Renewable Energy Technologies (Aqua-RET) is a marine renewable energy e-learning project funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci Programme. Aquatera is a member of a consortium of 8 partners from 6 European countries (Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom) which was set up in 2006 to undertake the project. Aqua-RET is being developed to facilitate dissemination activities across Europe and contribute to technology transfer activities within the sector.

Europe needs to provide more electricity generated by renewable energy to meet EU and Kyoto regulations and agreements. Consequently, there has been a growth in interest in aquatic renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind, wave, tidal stream and impoundment, and run-of-river. However, the introduction of new technologies is often greeted with resistance from the general public, professionals and institutions. The experience of land-based renewable energy, and particularly windfarms, provides a classic example of how a failure to provide basic information and to educate key stakeholders, can lead to a significant degree of unnecessary animosity and misunderstanding.

Aqua-RET is a unit of e-learning modules to be available online or on CD-ROM, and is supported by an educational poster series. It is designed to provide information on how aquatic renewable energy technologies work, how they could benefit the economy, and where and how they fit into, are constrained, and/or create potential conflict within the environment. The project hopes to inform a wide range of stakeholders in the energy sector, including the general public, planners, energy advisors, developers and people working in ancillary sectors, who need to understand aquatic renewable energy technologies in order to make informed decisions.

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