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Joint letter calling for a revision of the Innovation Fund

Ahead of the European elections, we, members of civil society, firmly believe it is time to seize the momentum and ensure a concrete implementation of the Green Deal through far-reaching and efficient financing tools.

EU institutions have reached historic milestones over the last five years, adopting the Green Deal legislative packages in essential areas, crucial for climate and energy targets and environmental protection. The 455 million EU citizens are now better equipped than the rest of the world to face the climate emergency. The EU pledged to become the first green economy and is on the right way to earn this title. This would not have been possible without the continued cooperation between the diverse stakeholders, from policymakers to scientists, industry and civil society representatives.

Now has come the time of implementation for the Green Deal. This means unlocking important investments of €813 billion per year, according to I4CE1, to reach its climate objectives. A significant share of these investments must go into derisking and accelerating the deployment of breakthrough electricity production technologies that will strengthen the energy and climate resilience of the EU. These priorities must be secured in the next legislative period.

 

Read the full letter

Ocean energy accelerates towards commercialisation in 2023

The ocean energy sector accelerated in 2023, according to the latest statistics released today by Ocean Energy Europe. Low market visibility in the past still impacts 2023 deployment figures but new revenue support at national level drastically changes the outlook. 137 MW of tidal and wave energy projects will seek deployment in the next 5 years thanks to EU funding and national revenue support. This prompted several energy majors to enter the field as investors or partners into projects and is kick-starting the sector’s industrialisation.

France and the UK – two of the leading tidal markets globally – have now implemented per/kWh support for tidal farms, increasing the current tidal pipeline to 127 MW over the next 5 years. This is a major step forward but the continuation of the UK CfD ringfence and the implementation of the commercial tidal tenders announced by French President Macron are vital to cement the industrialisation of the sector.

Wave energy is reaching high levels of technological readiness, as demonstrated by private investments into current projects. Unwavering EU funding helped improve full-scale prototypes and spurred the first pilot farms. However, wave energy will ultimately need the same kind of national revenue support as wind, solar, and now tidal to become a new European industrial success story.

Investments. As anticipated, market visibility at national level coupled with technological progress attracted an unprecedented level of interest from the private sector. Major energy players are building their own ocean energy technologies or partnering up on existing projects. Reported private investments into the sector in 2023 also increased massively – up 75%.

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, commented: “Revenue support at national level creates bankability for projects and market visibility for investors. It is the main driver for private investments, a message OEE has been consistently passing and which is once again reflected in facts and figures. Coupled with EU-level investment support – still needed for pilot and pre-commercial projects – it is kick-starting the industrialisation of the sector.

The CfD ringfence for tidal in the UK needs to be maintained, and the commercial calls for tidal energy announced by President Macron now need to be enacted. Revenue support for wave needs to be put forward, especially in Portugal, Spain and Ireland. This will ensure investors keep putting projects in the water, reduce costs, and make ocean energy into the home-grown industry it can be.“

Download the Ocean Energy Stats & Trends 2023

 

Manifesto for a European Ocean Pact

The Manifesto for a European Ocean Pact proposes a ground-breaking initiative aimed at catalysing a transformative approach to ocean governance and sustainable economic development within the European Union. As a collaborative effort, initiated by Europe Jacques Delors and the Oceano Azul Foundation, this manifesto endeavours to drive forward a comprehensive agenda that recognises the intrinsic link between the wellbeing of our societies, the competitiveness of our economies and the health of our ocean and waters. A group of high-level stakeholders with deep knowledge and experience of the ocean and the European Union (EU) have nurtured its content and driven forward a robust commitment to the ocean within the next European legislature.

OEE is proud of its contribution to the Manifesto, and the inclusion of wave and tidal energy as key innovative emerging technologies needed to build a strongand competitive European sustainable blue economy.

Read the full Manifesto for a European Ocean Pact

New OEE Co-Presidents and Directors elected at Ocean Energy Europe’s latest Annual General Assembly

Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) has appointed Guillaume Gréau, Head of Business development for HydroQuest, France, and Patrik Möller, CEO of CorPower Ocean, Sweden, as Co-Presidents. Both companies are global leaders in tidal and wave energy respectively, bringing a wealth of experience in ocean energy technology and project development to the Association.

The Co-Presidents will represent the ocean energy sector during a crucial transitional period, as the industry moves from prototypes and pilots to pre-commercial farms. Their respective projects are amongst the flagship farms that will showcase the sector’s electric and economic potential for Europe and the World.

The Board also welcomes seven new directors, elected yesterday by the OEE General Assembly. This election brings representation from all sides of the ocean energy industry, with directors who all have been instrumental in getting the industry where it is today.

The newly elected Directors are:

  • Matthew Finn, Commercial Director, European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)
  • Marlène Kiersnowski, SEENEOH Director, OPEN-C Foundation
  • Tony Lewis, Chief Technology Officer, OceanEnergy Ireland
  • Patrik Möller, CEO, CorPower Ocean
  • Pablo Ruiz Minguela, Head of Wave Energy, Tecnalia
  • Benjamin Lehner, CEO, Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC)
  • Marcelle Askew, Vice President of Business Development, Seabased

Mercator Ocean International and Ocean Energy Europe collaborate on Copernicus Marine Service

Discover the partnership between Mercator Ocean International and Ocean Energy Europe (OEE), renewing their commitment to leverage Copernicus Marine Service data for advancing ocean energy. Uncover the strategic role of Copernicus, Europe’s earth observation program, in providing indispensable data for tidal stream, wave, and other ocean energy technologies. Explore how this collaboration, building on past successes, aims to expand Copernicus Marine Service adoption, with upcoming use cases and an interactive event in spring 2024, ensuring a sustainable and innovative path for Europe’s ocean energy sector.

Collaboration between Mercator Ocean International and OEE

The collaboration between Mercator Ocean International and Ocean Energy Europe continues, aimed at fostering the use of Copernicus Marine Service data in the ocean energy sector. This initiative builds upon their successful partnership established in 2018, which saw a remarkable 30% surge in users from the ocean energy sector within the first year.

Job vacancy: Part-time Administrative Officer (+/- 19hours/week)

The Position

OEE is seeking an Administrative Officer to manage the administrative functions of the office and support our team of Policy, Communications and Projects professionals. The Administrative Officer is responsible for their own areas – mostly HR and accounting – and assists the rest of the team with a focus on the administrative tasks of the association.

The Administrative Officer works with support from the CEO on accounting and HR, and in collaboration with the other members of the team depending on the task at hand.

Job vacancy: Policy Officer

The Position

We are at a critical time for wave & tidal energy. The drive to Net Zero and the importance of greater energy independence creates a huge need for diverse sources of renewable energy. The European Commission recognises this and has set ambitious deployment targets for ocean energy by 2027 and 2030. Furthermore, recent public support to the sector is driving new projects and the industrialisation of the sector.

Scaling up an industry requires supportive funding and policy, and OEE is committed to delivering this for Europe’s ocean energy sector.

We are looking for an enthusiastic & experienced Policy Officer to join us on this mission! You will work alongside 6 colleagues committed to push for the best possible framework to develop ocean energy at EU and national level. We are looking for a like-minded individual, committed to help make the energy transition happen. The position can cater to either Junior or Senior Policy Officers.

Tony Lewis receives Ocean Energy Europe’s Vi Maris award

Tony Lewis, CFO of OceanEnergy is the recipient of the 2023 Vi Maris Award. The announcement of this prestigious industry award was made during the OEE2023 Conference and Exhibition in The Hague. Vi Maris, meaning ‘power of the sea’, is an industry award established by Ocean Energy Europe (OEE), which recognizes the outstanding contribution of an individual to the ocean energy sector.
 
Tony Lewis has been working in and for the ocean energy sector for over 40 years. The ‘father of ocean energy’, Tony is currently the Chief Technology Officer at OceanEnergy, a member of the Board of Ocean Energy Europe, a Principal Investigator in MaREI and Professor Emeritus in University College Cork, Ireland and a globally recognised expert on ocean energy systems.

Tony continues to have an illustrious career in ocean energy. He spearheaded the development of the MaREI Centre in Ireland, a world-leading research centre for energy, climate and marine energy. He is a member of the Irish Mirror Committee (TC18) of the IEC TC114 Technical Committee responsible for developing standards for ocean energy systems. He was one of the founding members of Ocean Energy Europe, and has served as Board Secretary for the past 9 years. He received the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques, a national order of France for distinguished academics in 2017.

Tony and OceanEnergy will deploy a 1MW wave energy converter at the US navy wave energy test site in Hawaii in 2023, and are currently coordinating the WEDUSEA project, which brings together 14 industry partners from across Europe to work together to commercialise wave energy by demonstrating a second grid connected 1MW WEC, named OE35, in Orkney, Scotland.

A shortlist of nominees was considered by a panel of Ocean Energy Europe board members, who voted by secret ballot for the winner.

Tony Lewis said: “It is a great honour for me to receive the Vi Maris award for 2023 from Ocean Energy Europe. I would like to thank my colleagues for recognising my life’s work on wave and tidal energy. We all realise how important the development of this huge untapped energy resource is to climate change and energy security for the future.”

Rémi Gruet, Ocean Energy Europe’s CEO, added: “I have met many great people in the last 10 years working with the ocean energy sector, and Tony is certainly at the very top of the list. His half-century long contribution to advancing ocean energy science and technology is recognised by peers and competitors alike, in academia and business. His support for Ocean Energy Europe has greatly helped us understand and communicate why and how ocean energy has a role to play in tomorrow’s electricity system. And while doing all that, and despite all awards and decorations, Tony has remained as approachable as he’s always been, someone you will always learn from, a model for many of us!

Images available:

Vi Maris banner Tony Lewis
Tony Lewis photograph

Important boost for European tidal stream sector with over 50MW allocated in UK auction

Europe’s tidal stream sector received a resounding vote of confidence in today’s UK renewable energy auction results, under its Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme. £29m (€34m) of revenue support will go to 11 projects, providing much-needed long-term certainty and stimulating private investment.

Seven developers, including British, Spanish and US companies, secured contracts to develop a total of 53MW of tidal stream energy across four locations in the UK. By supporting a wide range of technologies and sites, the awards will enable the scale-up of multiple device types and maximise the benefits to local communities.

In Scotland, projects led by Orbital Marine Power and SAE Renewables will deliver almost 30MW, whilst Hydrowing, Verdant Power and MOR Energy will bring nearly 20MW of capacity to Wales. Spanish developer Magallanes has received contracts for projects in both Scotland and Wales, totalling 4.5MW.

UK’s participation in Horizon Europe will benefit the whole European ocean energy sector

Today’s announcement that the UK is to join the EU’s flagship Horizon Europe programme is excellent news for Europe’s ocean energy sector.

Participation in the world’s largest transnational research & innovation programme, with its emphasis on cross-border collaboration, will get more ocean energy projects in the water and help Europe keep its competitive edge.

Horizon Europe and its predecessors, Horizon 2020 and FP7, have played a key role in driving forward the development of ocean energy to date. Since 2007, support totalling over €400 million has been allocated to ocean energy projects from these programmes.

Europe is the world leader in ocean energy, and the UK is one of its pioneer countries, home to some of its most exciting projects, biggest resources and world-leading test sites. While robust research funding will be welcomed by all, the opportunity for experts to work together is equally valuable when it comes to staying at the forefront of technological innovation.

Ocean Energy Europe’s CEO, Rémi Gruet, commented: “This long-awaited announcement signals a desire at the highest political level to keep the whole of Europe competitive on the global stage. Despite Brexit, companies and researchers have always been committed to working together to advance ocean energy technologies. Collaborating via Horizon Europe will not only make that easier, it will also help Europe to remain the frontrunner in ocean energy worldwide.”