In the 2011 roadmapping efforts there was consistent theme that emerged. It was that Canada should play a leadership role in defining how the marine renewables industry was developed, how it will operate and how it will continue to evolve. This was in part an echo from the leadership shown by Natural Resources Canada (Melanie Nadeau in fact) in pushing the launch of the TC114 standards initiative of IEC, but it was more because it reflected that some of the practices and approaches that early engagement in Canada could create would become the SOPs for the emerging industry.
A theme of Marine Renewables Canada’s communications is that we are now in a phase that is prototyping the industry, not simply prototyping technology. We believe it is important for us to be looking for the integrated systems that will make marine power plants safe, reliable and productive.
While the TC114 work has a scope that addresses much of what is needed, we are expecting that additional codes of practice, guidelines and standards may also emerge from the developments of the next few years. These could address environmental regulatory compliance, address marine safety or extend to community engagement. We must define a scope around our needs and our strengths.
In our (in reality, Chair Russell Stothers) success in partnering wth Natural Resources Canada to support our standards work, we have a small budget for research which we hope might open up some of the areas not yet addressed in our mandate with IEC. Regardless, we will have to stimulate a broader discussion of what is needed and also make an effort to collect any of the initiatives by members that should perhaps be a basis for evolving codes of practice.
All of which perhaps leads to the critical challenge of broadening the participation in these processes. We need to expand the technical capacity of some of the working groups and we need input from sector members on what they believe we shoud be doing to advance the standards and practices agenda more fully. For those involved already, we ask you to help us identify and recruit expertise to strengthen the efforts. For those who can see that defining these industry practices is an important part of ensuring that we can play a role in an emerging world marketplace, we welcome ideas on what else should be done. I hope that we might explore some of those ideas in upcoming versions of the news “letter”.
Finally, this is a public opportunity to thank those who have been dedicating time and effort to these initiatives. It may seem a bit distant still, but you are helping shape this industry. Thank you for the effort.
Chris Campbell, Executive Director
Marine Renewables Canada