Experiment or pioneering

As noted in relation to significance, the technology is seen by many stakeholders as being ‘experimental’. Again this ‘experimental’ status is interpreted both positively and negatively by different stakeholders. On the one hand, the project is seen being pioneering and pushing at the boundaries of solutions for climate change and energy security. Being at the forefront of innovation demonstrates the technical competence and potential commercial strength of the wave energy industry in the South West and the UK as a whole. Alternatively the ‘experimen­tal’ status is seen as evidence that the impacts are unknown and/or unknowable. This results either in calls for more research to be done on the impacts, or for the project to be abandoned as the impacts are thought to be inherently unpre­dictable:

‘The impact of large-scale installations, whether “green” or not, is signifi­cant and in this case nobody can say for certain what those impacts are’ (Email objection, p42).

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