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OEE calls for European target of 100MW by 2025

The new EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy must include a target of 100MW of ocean energy installed in Europe by 2025. This would be enough to power 100,000 European homes a year, and would pave the way for installing 3GW by 2030 and 100GW by 2050. This target would provide the political impetus and incentives needed to maintain Europe’s position as the global leader in ocean energy and create a new industry for Europe.

Four priority actions are needed to achieve this, according to Ocean Energy Europe. First on the list is the formation of a pan-European alliance of EU decision-makers, national governments and industry representatives. The alliance would be tasked with accelerating the sector’s development by providing access to national revenue support and making it easier to secure project sites.

Secondly, earmarking €300 million for ocean energy research and innovation over the next 5 years will support the EU’s green recovery objectives, cut technology costs and get planned projects into the water.

The third action, setting up a European insurance & guarantee fund, will also reduce project risks and make it easier for developers to access private finance.

The final recommendation is to develop an export strategy for offshore renewable technologies. A blend of European Investment Bank financing and guarantees for export-ready projects will make sure that Europe holds onto its world-leading position in ocean energy.

The importance of public support in kick-starting projects and encouraging private investment to create a truly commercial industry cannot be overstated. Since 2007, every €1 of EU & national public funding for ocean energy has leveraged €2.9 of private investments in the sector.

Remi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe commented: “This target is entirely achievable. There is a strong pipeline of projects lined up along Europe’s coasts – all that’s needed now is the right policy and market environment to deliver them. The new EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy is a huge opportunity for Europe to achieve a recovery that is both green and just.”

Read the full position paper

Download the press release

Vacancy: Policy Director

The Policy Director is responsible for the advocacy strategy and its implementation. She/he acts in close cooperation with the CEO to turn national and EU political agendas into support and opportunities for OEE members.

The Policy Director is an external face of the Association. His/her aim is for the Association to remain the go-to organisation for ocean energy worldwide, for industry and decision-makers. This requires delivering best-possible service to members and providing accurate and compelling information and messages to European and national policymakers.

Offshore Renewables Strategy: Ocean energy – the next European Industry

2.2GW of tidal stream and 423MW of wave energy could be deployed in Europe by 2030 and the industry forecasts it could install 100 GW in European waters by 2050, with the right policies in place. This represents 10% of Europe’s current electricity needs, or 94 million households/year.

100GW of Wave and tidal energy could create 400 000 jobs in Europe by 2050. The early development of ocean energy technologies has already led to the emergence of a truly pan-European supply chain. Leading companies in the sector can already be found across Europe, including in land-locked countries, such as Austria.

Ocean energy also provides a long-term growth perspective to maritime and peripheral regions that were often hardest hit by the economic crisis. Through new offshore projects requiring skilled jobs, it revitalizes ports and coastal regions.

Those are just a few of the reasons why ocean energy is the EU’s next industrial success story

Download the full position paper to find out more

Leading tidal developers form new Tidal Alliance for OEE2020

Three leading tidal developers have joined forces as a Tidal Alliance at OEE2020, to show the world that tidal is ready for the main stage: Orbital Marine Power, SABELLA and Sustainable Marine Energy. Europe leads the way in tidal energy globally, with European developers transforming the technology into a mainstream power source.

Ocean Energy Europe CEO Rémi Gruet highlights the significance of these three companies coming together to support the sector and its annual event. He said: “Tidal continues to make enormous strides both in innovation and in its exponential power production, generating 50% more in 2019 than the year before. Investing in ocean energy today will pay dividends in the future, helping build a carbon-neutral energy system and creating jobs and opportunities in a new, robust, home-grown industry.”

The OEE Conference and Exhibition is coming to Brussels in December to carry a clear message: Tidal turbines have been producing power for several years now, and the sector is ready for the next stage.

OEE signs letter calling for simpler and quicker permitting process

Addressing permitting bottlenecks is critical to unlock renewables’ potential and make investments happen. But as things stand, national licensing frameworks do not keep pace with the scale and volume of renewable investments needed to deliver an EU green recovery – let alone the European Green Deal.

We are therefore calling for simpler and quicker permitting process and asking the European Commission to:

  • Ensure Member States effectively transpose and enforce the permitting rules in the 2018 Renewable Energy Directive for new and repowered renewable energy projects i.e. single contact point, shorter process;
  • Audit Member States on whether they have the human and administrative resources to process the permit applications needed for the renewable energy commitments made in the 2030 National Plans; and
  • Clarify with Member States that there are no barriers in EU law that forbid changes in the technology specifications in the timeframe between permit application and construction of a renewable energy project. Member States should support renewable energy operators in deploying the most efficient technology available for a specific site.

Download the full letter.

Seabased joins Ocean Energy Europe Board of Directors

Swedish wave developer Seabased is joining the Ocean Energy Europe Board of Directors as a Lead Partner, the industry body announced today. As a member of the Board, Seabased VP Marcelle Askew will play an important role in steering the strategic direction of the association and in ensuring that wave energy reaches its full industrial potential.

Founded in 2001, Seabased is a pioneer in wave energy technology. It built the world’s first grid-connected multi-generator wave park with 36 generators in Sotenäs, Sweden. The company has also completed demonstration and testing projects in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Ghana.

Wave’s potential as a source of significant reliable, renewable energy is well documented. The Seabased team is moved by the desire to realise that potential and to see wave energy play a key role in balancing renewable energy grids. They are committed to doing so in a way that actually helps the environment where their parks are installed.

Seabased is currently working towards third party certification of its technology and on a collaborative software project, which will optimise each park to generate maximum power in a given wave climate. These projects signify a major step towards the global commercialisation of wave energy, and both are co-funded by the EU’s INTERREG programme.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe welcomed the addition of Seabased to the Ocean Energy Europe Board of Directors:

“The arrival of Seabased on the OEE Board is a significant step for the growing wave energy sector. I have no doubt that Marcelle and the Seabased team will bring a wealth of experience and ideas to the table. I am looking forward to working with Seabased and OEE’s other wave energy board members on innovative approaches to driving forward the industrialisation of the wave sector.”

Marcelle Askew, VP Projects of Seabased added

“I am delighted that Seabased is joining the OEE Board of Directors at this pivotal moment in wave energy’s development. OEE’s work is incredibly valuable to the ocean energy sector and I look forward to representing Seabased and wave technology in defining the direction and scope of the association’s activities. Seabased has a solutions-oriented approach to addressing the global energy and climate challenges, an ethos which I am certain is shared by the other board members.”

OEE signs letter calling for the upcoming stimulus packages to be in line with the Green Deal

We stand behind the European Green Deal and urge you to create this link with the immediate stimulus packages. Today’s action addressing health and climate challenges across all policy areas and sectors will improve the well-being of citizens and the climate while strengthening Europe.

COVID-19 has forced the world into an economic pause. Now, you have the power to use the Green Deal to restart Europe and drive its economy with a focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy across all sectors. Such investments are both labour-rich and shovel-ready.

Download the full letter

Ocean Energy Statistics: European tidal power generation jumps by 50% in 2019

Europe still leads the world in tidal energy installations, and European tidal stream projects generated 50% more electricity in 2019 than the year before, according to statistics released today by Ocean Energy Europe.

European tidal stream capacity continued to climb in 2019, reaching 27.7 MW cumulatively – almost four times as much as the rest of the world. This is despite a slowdown in deployments as developers prepare for larger projects to hit the water in the next few years. Outside of Europe, the first of several European-led projects in Canada reached financial close, thanks to a dedicated Feed-In Tariff for tidal energy.

Electricity produced by tidal energy shifted up a gear in 2019, adding 15 gigawatt-hours to Europe’s running total – which hit 49 gigawatt-hours at the end of the year. This uptick demonstrates that the technology can work over a long period of time in aggressive waters. With improving efficiency and falling costs, tidal energy is all set to become a mainstream power source.

In the wave energy sector, installed capacity in Europe grew by 25%, continuing the sector’s steady growth over the past decade. Several projects hit the water along the Atlantic and North Sea coasts, taking Europe’s cumulative installations to 11.8 MW.

Although Europe remains at the forefront of wave energy in terms of cumulative capacity and technological excellence, the gap is narrowing. Annual installations in other parts of the world have, for the second year running, overtaken Europe. The USA and China are beginning to reap the rewards of sustained investments in RD&I, with combined installations of 1.8 MW in 2019.

Ocean Energy Europe’s CEO, Rémi Gruet, highlighted the game-changing issue of revenue support.

“European governments should take note of the fact that revenue support has been the driver of significant progress in Canada and China. The question is no longer if the technology works, but what is required to roll it out on an industrial scale.

Every recent 2050 energy scenario sees wind and solar at the centre of European electricity production. The large-scale deployment of second-generation renewables such as ocean energy is essential to complement these two variable energies. Predictable ocean energy, producing at different times from wind and solar, will be a vital tool to support the transformation of Europe’s energy system towards a zero-carbon future.”

The statistics were compiled by Ocean Energy Europe using data gathered from the ocean energy industry.

Download the full report

Joint Renewable Industry Call: Europe needs to be net-zero carbon by 2050, implementation must start now

The European renewable industries welcome the decision by President Elect of the Commission von der Leyen to enshrine the objective of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 into EU law.

Our industries already represent a major part of the European industrial sector, and much of our value chains remains robustly European. They are at the core of the EU Green Deal and the industrial transformation of Europe.

2018 marked a new peak in worldwide atmospheric GHG concentrations, meaning that now more than ever we must set a clear timing and a sound legislative basis to allow industry and investors to align their activities with a net-zero carbon economy in 2050. To achieve decarbonisation, we must shift away from fossil fuels, towards renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal, bioenergy, ocean, wind and ambient energy to decarbonise our energy needs for heating and cooling, electricity and transport by 2030, following thus also the UN agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Reducing the geopolitical risk and cost of imported fossil fuels adds to this need for urgent and unambiguous action.

The decarbonisation of the European economy must be inclusive: all Europeans must benefit from a just energy transition, with the switch towards renewable energy serving to eliminate heat poverty and local pollution from fossil fuel combustion.

The energy transition must contribute to the creation of plentiful, high-value jobs. The best way to support this is to give clear investment incentives to accelerate investment in the supply of renewable heating, cooling and electricity. This will stimulate sustainable businesses and industry to thrive in Europe without energy prices weighting on their activities. The inclusiveness of this transition can be spurred by the Just Transition Fund, which needs to be designed in accordance with the net-zero carbon objective.

Meanwhile, the European renewable energy industry can meet the decarbonisation challenge, with a wide array of technologies ready to be scaled up, and innovative technology solutions being developed to meet the demands of deep decarbonisation.

Much remains to be done for renewable energy sources to cover all of the European Union’s energy needs. Policies implemented today define how our economy will look like in three decades, and whether we will be able to reach a net-zero economy by then. The full implementation of the Clean Energy Package for All Europeans is a major requirement and first step, but we also need to stop locking in new greenhouse gases emissions through fossil fuel subsidies and public financing of fossil fuel projects. Concretely, the taxation on energy products must be revised to be aligned to the EU climate objectives while the idea that power system flexibility can only be delivered by fossil fuels must be rejected.

Therefore, as renewable industry associations we call for a strong commitment to a net-zero 2050 objective.

Download the Joint Letter