Offshore energy guidance
Surfers Against Sewage believe that climate change poses a major threat to recreational water users, the marine environment and the global environment as a whole, and strongly advocates action to combat it. SAS supports the advancement of renewable energy sources, but will examine each new development on a case-by case basis in order to assess any potential negative impacts on coastal environments, surfing resources and recreation.
Surfers Against Sewage is fully in favour of renewable energy sources, including offshore renewables. Just as we can tap off a small amount of wave energy to push us along on our boards, we can also extract energy from the winds, tide and waves and re-direct it to generate energy. However, consideration must always be given to ensure that developments are installed without degrading important natural surfing wave resources. SAS has produced a comprehensive guide aimed at developers of offshore renewables.
The guidance promotes the surfing community as an important stakeholder in this sector, within the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, highlighting sites of special surfing interest that developers should consider and avoid. Predicting whether wave energy converters (WECs) are going to damage waves and surf spots is not straightforward but can always be assessed on a case-by-case basis. SAS intends that if used effectively the guidance could help speed up the consent process for suitable offshore developments. Fundamentally, the developers need to be made aware of the value of surfing waves, not just to surfers but to the entire community. Until now, companies proposing to deploy wave energy converters have not considered or researched the value of surfing waves, or how their devices might affect them.
If EIA processes identify significant negative impacts on the surfing waves and/or the beach environment then SAS will try to work with the developers to eliminate the impact.
SAS will not take a stance on any perceived visual impact.