Marine Renewable Energy

CMM36 Elective Course 4 ECTS
Period 2 weeks 14.06.2021 - 25.06.2021
Instructor Dr. John Colton


This course provides an overview of the marine renewable energy sector by focusing on the history of marine renewable energy development, environmental effects, marine spatial planning, device technology and transmission issues, finance and risk mitigation, socio-cultural impacts, and stakeholder and community engagement. Students will explore these issues through case studies focusing on the Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia, Canada) and the Orkney Islands (United Kingdom). The course is grounded in theory and applied learning opportunities that enable students to assess marine renewable energy issues through professional tools and other applied resources.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, a student:

  • can describe the social, political, cultural, and environmental issues related to marine renewable energy development.
  • can interpret the Pathways of Effects framework for predicting environmental responses to marine renewable energy development.
  • can identify processes that support community and stakeholder engagement in marine renewable energy development.
  • has demonstrated an understanding of the marine renewable energy development process through case study analysis and development of a marine renewable energy project course exercise.



John Colton is a Professor at Acadia University, Canada, Community Development Graduate Program Coordinator and Head of Environmental & Sustainability Studies.

He has chaired the Centre for Rural Sustainability, Atlantic Canada Sustainability Initiative, and Nova Scotia Steering Committee for Renewable Energy.

John has worked for National Geographic as their sustainable tourism evaluator for eastern Canada World Legacy Awards program and has led wilderness expeditions for their writers and photographers in northern Canada and Alaska. John continues to guide northern wilderness river expeditions where he enjoys introducing people to the beauty and splendour of Canada's northern wilderness areas.

John co-authored the Community and Business Tidal Energy Toolkit and the Tidal Energy Community Engagement Handbook. He is a founding member of the Acadia Tidal Energy Institute.

He has worked with Halifax Regional Municipality in training their staff on sustainability and has collaborated on the development of a sustainability assessment framework and criteria for decision-making. More recently he has worked with the Wildcat Reserve of the Acadia First Nation in developing an ecotourism development strategy.