Written By: Emma Websdale
Today, the European Commission (EU) has launched the publication of its ocean energy action plan –a strategic roadmap showing the EU’s support for the ocean energy sector until 2020.
The new publication, entitled The Communication on Ocean Energy, outlines the EU’s approach in supporting the ocean energy sector until 2020 and reveals that the EU’s action will begin with the creation of an Ocean Energy Forum.
Bringing together ministers, EU officials, industry CEOs, regional directors and academics from across Europe, the new forum will identify risks and create practical frameworks to get new ocean energy projects and devices underway. Outcomes from the new Ocean Energy Forum will then be used to create a European Industrial Initiative for Ocean Energy by 2017.
“The industry is extremely pleased with the creation of the Ocean Energy Forum and looks forward to working with the Commission and member states to make sure it drives the sector forward”, says Sian George, CEO of the Ocean Energy Forum. “The initiative provides a platform for coordinating support and risk sharing which will ultimately provide practical support and get devices in the water.”
“The Commission has only done a very few communications about single energy technologies: biomass in 2004 and offshore wind in 2008”, says Remi Gruet, policy director of the Ocean Energy Association. “The fact that they’re doing it for [the] ocean now reflects a need to invest today in a technology that can deliver parts of the European energy mix tomorrow.”
According to the Carbon Trust, the global market for ocean energy technologies could develop a worth of as much as €535 billion between 2010 and 2050. Furthermore, it has been estimated that the industry will create 40,000 jobs by 2035.
“The ocean energy resource available globally exceeds our present and projected future energy needs,” says the new EU communication paper. “[Exploitation of this resource] would help to mitigate EU dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation and enhance energy security.”
Technologies covered by the new communications report include Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), Tidal Energy and Salinity Gradient.
For more information on our Ocean Thermal Energy technologies’ current and future projects, visit our corporate website here.