Written By: Emma Websdale
Horizon 2020, a new €80 billion (US$110 billion) program for research and innovation, yesterday publicized that funds could be allocated into the ocean energy sector –a crucial step in pushing ocean energy technologies towards full commercialization.
With a budget almost 30% greater than its predecessor’s, Horizon 2020’s available investment power totals €80 billion (US$110 billion). Horizon 2020 unites all EU research and innovation funding under a single program for the first time, streamlining support for innovative products and services that change people’s lives for the better.
The ocean energy sector is among Horizon 2020’s research and demonstration sectors named as a potential recipient of funding. Recognizing that ocean energy technologies can play an important role in securing sustainable clean energy for Europe, Horizon 2020 could provide funding for ocean emerging technologies, offshore grids, market uptake and support for small to medium enterprises (SME).
Such approval of funding will help drive down the costs of ocean arrays –an important step in moving ocean energy technologies closer to full-scale commercialization.
“By putting money on the table for ocean energy applicants, the Horizon 2020 work programme sends a clear political signal that the European Commission and Member States are serious about developing a strong ocean energy industry”, says Dr Sian George, CEO of the European Ocean Energy Association.
She adds, “Securing funding from Horizon 2020 will help the industry to drive down costs and get arrays in the water.”
Participating with the European Commission, the European Ocean Energy Association will host a workshop on Horizon 2020 on December 12th to identify promising projects and potential collaborators.