International network for Social Studies of Marine Energy (ISSMER) has been established to bring together interdisciplinary researchers interested in the socio-cultural, economic, geographic, philosophical, organisational, and political aspects of marine renewable energy.

This website is a place for members to share resources, and to provide information about past and future events.


The marine renewable energy industry is at a crucial moment. Devices are now moving from engineering drawings to full-scale prototypes, and the first commercial large-scale wave and tide energy farms have been announced.

New developments in national grid electricity infrastructures are being planned, and large areas of the sea are being allocated to this new industry. Around the world countries are assessing the potential energy resource in their national waters.

This process of commercialisation is creating new interactions between environment, technology, and society. These take place in coastal communities, socio-economic markets, between other users of the sea, with policy-makers, amongst marine energy companies, and between governments.

ISSMER aims to support collaboration with these diverse communities, and to coordinate international research activities in the social studies of marine energy. We welcome new members from industry, academia, and policy. Please either join our mailing list or contact us to participate in the ISSMER network.

ISSMER Online Seminar 3 on ‘Planning’ – 14 January

This is the last of three online seminars we are hosting (1.5 hours each), to be held on Wednesday 14 January. Each event is based on one of our core themes, developed at the last workshop in Stromness, Orkney. The aim is to get a quick update on current ISSMER member activities with the hope [...]

ISSMER Online Seminar 2 on ‘Consultation’

This series of online seminar discussions is intended to bring together researchers interested in social, cultural, policy and planning issues related to marine energy, and ocean power. Everyone is invited to participate in these video conferences, but places are limited. The second online seminar on ‘Consultation’ is taking place on December 16. Details below… Theme: [...]

Video recording of ISSMER online seminar 1 on ‘community’

For those of you unable to attend ISSMER online seminar 1 last week, the following video recording has now been made available. The seminar slides can be downloaded as well: Sandy Kerr: Community Benefits – Fair shares or token gestures? Glen Wright: Rights & Ownership in Marine Spaces

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  • Re: [ISSMER] Fwd: Future policy implications of tidal energy array interactions July 25, 2019
    Hi Laura, Thanks, that’s very timely and useful for a project I’m involved with. I wonder whether an update to the social sciences research agenda is needed ? Regards Simon Dr Simon Jude, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Decision Making, Centre for Environmental and Agricultural […]
    Jude, Simon
  • Book reviews for 'Energy at the End of the World: An Orkney Islands Saga'? July 15, 2019
    With apologies for the self-interest, but thinking that this is also an opportunity to share: Energy at the End of the World: An Orkney Islands Saga Laura Watts MIT Press My recent book about marine energy, and energy futures more widely in […]
    WATTS Laura
  • Fwd: Future policy implications of tidal energy array interactions July 15, 2019
    Dear marine energy colleagues, Attached is a paper from Simon Waldman and others at ICIT Orkney, which should be of interest. Hope all is well. Warm wishes- Laura. Dr Laura Watts Ethnographer of Futures | Interdisciplinary Senior Lecturer in Energy & Society Geography | Geosciences | Universit […]
    WATTS Laura
  • FWD: COP24 in Review December 13, 2018
    Thanks for reading the Island Innovation newsletter! If you were forwarded this email or accessed it through a link, don't forget to subscribe here and stay up to date on the latest sustainability news from islands and remote regions around the world. In what many describe as the biggest […]
    James Ellsmoor