These studies have been conducted in link with the WEAMEC project RC-PLus: Resource Characterization to Reduce the Cost of Energy through Coordinated Data Enterprise.
Can satellite data be used to address challenges currently faced by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) sector? What benefit can satellite observations bring to resource assessment and maintenance of ORE farms? Can satellite observations be used to assess the environmental impact of offshore renewables leading towards a more sustainable ORE sector? This review paper faces these questions presenting a holistic view of the current interactions between satellite and ORE sectors, and future needs to make this partnership grow. The aim of the work is to start the conversation between these sectors by establishing a common ground. We present offshore needs and satellite technology limitations, as well as potential opportunities and areas of growth. To better understand this, the reader is guided through the history, current developments, challenges and future of offshore wind, tidal and wave energy technologies. Then, an overview on satellite observations for ocean applications is given, covering types of instruments and how they are used to provide different metocean variables, satellite performance, and data processing and integration. Past, present and future satellite missions are also discussed. Finally, the paper focuses on innovation opportunities and the potential of synergies between the ORE and satellite sectors. Specifically, we pay attention to improvements that satellite observations could bring to standard measurement techniques: assessing uncertainty, wind, tidal and wave conditions forecast, as well as environmental monitoring from space. Satellite–enabled measurement of ocean physical processes and applications for fisheries, mammals and birds, and habitat change, are also discussed in depth.