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 electricity. However, a priority must always be that they are installed without degrading surfing wave resources.
SAS has produced a comprehensive guide aimed at developers of offshore renewables. The first document to promote the surfing community as an important stakeholder in this sector, it works within the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, highlighting sites of special surfing interest that developers should avoid. Predicting whether wave energy converters (WECs) are going to ruin waves is not straightforward but can always be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If used effectively it 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, none of the companies proposing to deploy wave energy converters have had much of an idea of the value of surfing waves, or how their devices might affect them.