The Blue Growth Community urges regional actors to further develop a sustainable development of marine energies

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Naples, November 29th 2017 – The Blue Growth Community, featured by the InnoBlueGrowth project (Interreg MED), - in which ASCAME contributes as partner- organized its second transnational event on Blue Energies in Naples, Italy, last November 27- 28, 2017. The two-day event was the occasion to address a series of issues related to the sector, exchange good practices and establish future steps towards the sustainable development of marine energies by involving all actors of the sector. 

Elaborated in collaboration with the modular projects MAESTRALE and PELAGOS (Interreg MED), this event gathered at the Università Parthenope of Naples, a great variety of stakeholders ranging from regional policy makers to researchers and academia, NGOs, and the private sector.  

The regional event addressed burning issues such as investments and synergies for technology funding; the integrated coastal zone management / maritime spatial planning and social acceptance; environmental sustainability and awareness’s raising and education for blue growth.

After having presented their preliminary results the MAESTRALE and PELAGOS projects participated in round-table dynamics along with all participants to identify the most pressing issues and gaps, the priority fields of action to act, and three main targets to direct concluding messages on a defined timeframe.

Among the highlighted issues were the potential for funding marine renewable energies in the Mediterranean, with a focus on the strategies of the EU in this sense and a relevant parallel with the actual knowledge on potentialities for developing marine renewable energy infrastructures in the basin. The debates then slid to the environmental impacts that marine renewable energy infrastructures – in particular, wave systems – can potentially exert on the marine environment and ecosystems. To cite a few, the alteration and creation of new habitats, the sound and electromagnetic waves, the presence of foreign species in some areas altering the life of indigenous ones. It is worth noting that research and data still need to be performed and produced in order to concretely evaluate the potential impacts of marine energies on the environment as well as how the environment would respond. Encouraging pre-impacts assessments is therefore of utmost importance.

Lastly, and following the thread of discussions, the focus was brought on the training and educational part of the sector, highlighting the different expectations of the sector in terms of skills and the gaps that still need to be tackled for job creations and a better match between both skills offer and demand.

Lastly, the event included a study visit at the Port of Naples, during which the participants sailed to observe a wave energy pilot plant inserted in the breakwater infrastructures of the Port of Naples.

This event has been a turning point to the current innovative approaches that could be relevant also to other regions in the Mediterranean and has allowed to strengthen the links between all participants and encourage new ways of collaborating in the future.


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