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New offshore renewables strategy sets the stage for large-scale deployment of ocean energy

The new European Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy, published today, clearly acknowledges the massive industrial and environmental benefits that ocean energy can bring to Europe. Ocean Energy Europe welcomes this important step towards scaling up a brand-new European industry, while calling for swift, concrete implementation of the Strategy’s actions.

The Strategy’s commitment to support a pipeline of 100MW of ocean energy projects in the water by 2025, and at least 1 GW by 2030, will provide a boost to the sector in the coming decade.

A 2050 deployment target of 40GW provides a good starting point for building out the sector over the longer term. That said, the ocean energy industry has ambitions far beyond this target – and Europe should too.

There is no time to lose in mapping out how exactly the EU and member states will deliver this investment, so that Europe – and its ocean energy developers – can keep a competitive edge.

Remi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, commented: “The message from the ocean energy sector is clear: we are more than ready for this. We are confident the case for ocean energy will be self- evident once 100MW has hit the water. The Strategy is an encouraging opening to the coming decade – what we need now is to transform aspirations into actions. Offshore renewables projects bring long-term benefits, but they also take time to get into the water – the ocean energy sector, the Commission and national governments need to roll up their sleeves and start implementing the Strategy right away.”

Revising the State Aid guidelines to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and enable national support is another crucial component of the Strategy. Demonstration projects for emerging technologies don’t undermine competition and should be explicitly excluded from future State Aid rules.  

The promised platform on offshore renewables within the Clean Energy Industrial Forum (CEIF) can bring together the right actors from across Europe, but only with clear deliverables and an effective reporting structure will it be able to achieve its mission. High-level Member State participation is critical. National governments are strongly motivated to develop ocean energy, but they need to know that they won’t be investing alone, and that there will be a future European market for their companies. The CEIF can help manage both these concerns.

The strategy also highlights the importance of sea access and grid development for offshore renewables. A new framework for long-term offshore grid planning and clear objectives in national maritime spatial plans will go a long way towards providing the kind of regulation and infrastructure that the roll-out of ocean energy requires.

Hydroquest joins Ocean Energy Europe Board of Directors 

Leading French tidal energy developer HydroQuest is joining the Ocean Energy Europe Board of Directors as a Lead Partner, the industry body announced today. HydroQuest will be represented by Guillaume Gréau, Head of Business Development, who has 20 years of experience in shipbuilding and tidal energy.

Building on a decade’s experience in developing river current turbines, in 2016 HydroQuest added tidal turbine technology to its portfolio. Directly inspired by their existing river turbine technology, the OceanQuest tidal project won the ADEME competition “Energies Renouvelables en Mer” (Marine renewable energies) in 2017.

The innovative 1MW OceanQuest tidal turbine recently celebrated its one-year anniversary of continuous operation at the Paimpol-Bréhat site in Brittany, proving its reliability and efficacity. A partnership between HydroQuest and Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN), provides HydroQuest with a strong production capability & expertise on the strategic site of Cherbourg.

The new generation of HydroQuest tidal turbines will be one of the most powerful available, with a nominal power of 2.5MW.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, underlined the value that HydroQuest will bring to the Ocean Energy Europe Board of Directors:

“The tidal energy sector is regaining momentum in France, so it is timely that we are now welcoming an important French developer to the OEE Board. This move confirms HydroQuest’s commitment to the technology and demonstrates that they are ready to advance to the industrial stage of development. I am looking forward to working with Guillaume to shape the future of this exciting sector, which can only benefit from HydroQuest’s extensive experience.”

Guillaume Gréau, HydroQuest’s Head of Business Development added:

“We at HydroQuest are excited to join the OEE Board of Directors and to play our part in realising the huge potential of tidal power. Four years ago, we took the wise decision to capture not only the energy of rivers, but also the immense power of the seas. It is a key objective of HydroQuest to be part of the clean energy transition, and together with Ocean Energy Europe and my fellow Directors, I am looking forward to writing the next chapter in the industrialisation and commercial deployment of tidal energy.”

Download this press release in PDF

Make renewables a key Strategic Value Chain in the EU Industrial Strategy

In anticipation of the European Commission’s forthcoming industrial strategy, which will lay out the foundation of a climate-neutral society, 10 leading European renewable energy associations joined forces to stress the strategic importance of their sectors in delivering the European Green Deal and facilitating the decarbonisation of industry.

The associations signed a joint letter that urges renewable energy technologies to be acknowledged as a key Strategic Value Chain, complementing the six key Strategic Value Chains already identified by the Strategic Forum on Important Projects of Common European Interest. Membership of the Strategic Forum should be opened to representatives of renewable energy industries before the end of 2020.

The decarbonisation of the EU’s society and economy requires the large-scale deployment of cost-competitive renewable energy capacities by 2050. This will create a massive demand for green energy products in the EU and abroad, unlocking vast opportunities for European industries.  

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, said: “Wind and solar have delivered incredible jobs and economic activity in Europe these last 10 years. It is now time for a 2nd generation of renewables, including ocean energy, to reach industrialisation and provide flexibility in a renewables based energy system. Renewables bring more jobs per kWh than gas or coal generation. Acknowledging these sectors as one of the key Strategic Value Chains is thus a no-brainer to foster industrial development in Europe.”

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said: “The renewable energy industry is pivotal in delivering the European Green Deal. Solar and renewables offer low-cost and innovative solutions to decarbonising Europe’s energy system. Acknowledging renewables as one of the key Strategic Value Chains in the next Industrial Strategy published in March can unlock our full potential, bringing highly skilled jobs and energy self-sufficiency, powering all Europeans.”

Read the full letter here : Joint RES Letter on EU Industrial Strategy

Ocean Energy Europe welcomes Jochen Weilepp as co-President

12 April 2019. Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) has elected Dr. Jochen Weilepp, representing Sustainable Marine Energy, as co-President of the association. Dr. Weilepp will join Simon De Pietro of DP Energy, who has been OEE co-President since 2016.


Dr. Weilepp has been a valuable member of the OEE board for almost a decade and has been active in the ocean energy sector for 15 years. He currently represents tidal turbine technology developers Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) and Schottel Hydro, and advises wave developer Nemos.


Dr Weilepp is also Professor for Energy Management at the University of Applied Sciences Biberach, Germany, and has extensive experience with a range of ocean energy technologies. From 2005 until 2012, as CEO of Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies, he oversaw projects in wave, tidal and salinity gradient.


Dr. Weilepp commented:

 “It is a great honour to be elected OEE co-President at this crucial stage for the sector. Over the past 15 years, I have seen ocean energy technologies go from strength to strength, with numerous projects now producing clean, predictable electricity across Europe. I am looking forward to working with the OEE team as they engage with both national governments and the incoming European Parliament and Commission.


 I believe that with Simon’s experience as a project developer and my own background working with device manufacturers, we are in a strong position to lead the sector forward to commercialisation.”


Simon de Pietro, Managing Director of DP Energy and OEE co-President added:

“I am delighted to share the OEE Presidency with Jochen, who has a wealth of experience in ocean energy. These are exciting times for the sector, and I am confident that together with the OEE board, we can steer the industry through this period where energy production is going up and costs are coming down.”


For more information, please contact:

Amy Parsons

Communications and Events Director, Ocean Energy Europe +32 2 400 1043


About Ocean Energy Europe

Ocean Energy Europe is the largest network of ocean energy professionals in the world. Over 120 organisations, including Europe’s leading utilities, industrialists and research institutes, trust Ocean Energy Europe to represent the interests of Europe’s ocean energy sector.

Ocean Energy Europe’s objective is to create a strong environment for the development of ocean energy, improve access to funding and enhance business opportunities for its members. To achieve this, it engages with the European Commission, Council, Parliament, European Investment Bank, and national ministries on all dossiers affecting the sector, such energy, climate, finance, grid and consenting.

Press Release: 12.8M€ awarded to demonstrate ocean energy farms

21 January 2019. The new Interreg NWE project Ocean DEMO has been officially launched today. It provides funding to developers of marine renewable technologies to test their products or services in real sea environments. Ocean DEMO specifically targets multi-machine ocean energy installations. This will allow developers to move closer to market by demonstrating their technologies at full commercial scale. Ocean DEMO will release a first call for applications this year and devices will be installed from 2020 to 2022.

The transition from single machine to pilot farm scale is critical for the future of the ocean energy sector. Scaling up to multi-device farms will improve the competitiveness of the technology by bringing down costs across the supply chain. This transition comes with higher capital requirements and investors require a proven business case before they get further involved.

Ocean DEMO will ease the transition towards pilot farms by providing free access to Europe’s world leading network of open sea test centres:

  • EMEC – European Marine Energy Centre, UK – Project leader
  • DMEC – Dutch Marine Energy Centre, Netherlands
  • Centrale Nantes/SEM-REV, France
  • SmartBay – Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site, Ireland

Ocean DEMO follows on from the highly successful FORESEA project, which provides free access to open sea test centres for single machine testing. FORESEA has helped prove the tremendous potential of ocean energy, with 19 technologies deployed and more to come this year. Examples like Orbital Marine Power, who generated over 3 GWh of electricity in a year, proved that the technology works and can be part of a renewable energy mix in Europe.

Industry group Ocean Energy Europe will channel the project’s achievements and learnings to its international network of ocean energy professionals, ensuring broad dissemination across the sector.

Oliver Wragg, Commercial Director at EMEC, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to continue the work we started with FORESEA. We were able to demonstrate a wide range of technologies throughout the ocean energy supply chain thanks to Interreg’s support and the efforts of all the project partners.

“With Ocean DEMO, we will be able to scale up technologies to pilot farm scale. This will reduce technical risks, minimise environmental impacts and improve the economic competitiveness of ocean energy production. We’re looking forward to collaborating with ocean energy innovators across Europe and help them get machines in the water.”

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, said:
“We are very happy about Interreg’s steady support for ocean energy development in Europe. The ocean energy industry can provide jobs to 400.000 Europeans as well as 10% of Europe’s electricity by 2050. Ocean DEMO will be another significant step towards those objectives. Multi-device demonstration will strengthen the technology’s business case and attract investors, which will in turn allow the industry to scale up and bring down costs.

“A revenue support system, feed-in tariff, Contract for Difference or similar, is the only thing we’re missing to unlock the full potential of ocean energy in Europe. It is now up to Member States to create the right conditions for this industry to thrive.”

For further information:
Victor Kempf, FORESEA Communications Manager
Ocean Energy Europe
+32 2400 1042

Lisa MacKenzie, Marketing & Communications Officer
+44 1856 852207

About Ocean DEMO

Ocean DEMO will drive innovation across the ocean energy supply chain and scale technologies up to multi-machine readiness by providing free access to Europe’s world-leading network of test centres.

To boost market uptake and verify the potential of ocean energy to investors, Ocean DEMO will run a competitive voucher scheme supporting technology development through a combined transnational offering across NWE test infrastructures.

It is funded by the Interreg North West Europe programme, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


The FORESEA project helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) test ocean energy technology in real sea conditions and prove power can be economically generated from the ocean, by providing free access to North-West Europe’s world-leading network of test centres.

It is funded by the Interreg North West Europe programme, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).