Regulations governing ocean energy should allow phased development to occur in a predictable manner. Demonstration projects, on the other hand, are limited in duration, cannot sell power to the grid, and all infrastructure must be removed at the completion of the project. As a result, industry will not undertake “demonstration projects.”
A “phased development” approach better protects the environment and provides certainty to developers. Such an approach lowers barriers to entry for early projects, allowing the industry to learn and demonstrate the impacts of its technologies. When an early project has proven its viability and generated more relevant data, larger phases will have more information upon which permit decisions can be based.