Technical Report


Science and Knowledge Informing Policy and People: The Human Dimensions of Wave Energy Generation in Oregon Final Report to the Oregon Wave Energy Trust Public Deposited

Submitted to OWET September 30, 2009


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  • In 2007, the Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) put out a request for proposals to begin to discover answers to many of the environmental and human dimensions questions. A multidisciplinary group of social scientists – Flaxen Conway, Brent Steel, Michael Harte, and Bryan Tilt, Oregon State University – responded to this call. Working together, they created a new research program at OSU. The Human Dimension of Wave Energy (HDWE) research program was created to provide the opportunity for a cadre of social scientists – professors and graduate students – to study this new use of the ocean space and place. This report include six research papers. THree areas of concern emerge. First, we learned that in a time where energy demands are increasing and existing supplies are either decreasing or creating other challenges, the ocean energy industry must move in a socially, economically, and environmentally responsible manner. These are keys for sustainability and acceptance. There are legal and regulatory best practices that can be incorporated. Developers will continue to manage their way through an evolving process. Governments will be continuing to develop or build their expertise as they manage the ocean space and place for the public who owns it. Secondly, policies will continue to be made and hopefully monitored, evaluated, and improved. The public and policy actors need to be aware and engaged. Perceptions and opinions will be changed not by pressure or force, but with trusted knowledge and communication. Of special interest to OWET and others could be the trusted sources of information for each audience group. At least four of the six projects report back on this. Third, investments in research and testing are not only sound because they bring about answers to important questions but also because the public and others support and expect this investment. The “jury is still out” on what forms of energy generation should/could be in Oregon’s energy portfolio. Research and testing are important to developers (for technology advancement and sound business planning), policy actors and government (for innovative and effective policies), stakeholders (for site selection, technology improvement and functionality), and the public (for understanding and support).
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Table of Contents
  • 1. Introduction 2. Wave energy and public opinion in Oregon: Summary of results from the Oregon Energy Policy Survey, 2008 3. Mapping the Political Landscape of Wave Energy Development in Oregon 4. Is Wave Energy Comparatively Sustainable in Oregon? 5. Marine Spatial Planning and Lessons Learned in the Early Phase of Ocean Energy Development 6. Understanding Organized Interests Groups and Their Preferences toward Wave Energy 7. Addressing Perceived Community Impacts of Wave Energy in Coastal Oregon Communities
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Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
  • Oregon Wave Energy Trust and the OSU Libraries cooperate to provide long-term access to OWET reports. OSU's ScholarsArchive is the digital repository for continual access to the report. The OWET website,, provides immediate access to OWET funded reports.
  • Oregon Wave Energy Trust
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2009-11-30T14:41:08Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 HDWE Final Report OWET.pdf: 3561583 bytes, checksum: 79aa99ec68fe2bf35a5cd381302bdac4 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2009-09-30
  • OWET renamed this report "Socio-Economic Perspectives of Wave Energy Development." The content is the same although the formatting was changed to make Version 2 shorter.
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Janet Webster ( on 2009-11-25T23:25:36Z No. of bitstreams: 1 HDWE Final Report OWET.pdf: 3561583 bytes, checksum: 79aa99ec68fe2bf35a5cd381302bdac4 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman( on 2009-11-30T14:41:08Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 HDWE Final Report OWET.pdf: 3561583 bytes, checksum: 79aa99ec68fe2bf35a5cd381302bdac4 (MD5)



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