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Basque Country and Scotland team up to boost wave energy with EuropeWave project

The Basque Country and Scotland used the final day of the annual Ocean Energy Europe Conference & Exhibition to announce ‘EuropeWave’ – a new five-year collaborative programme that will channel €20m to the most promising wave energy concepts. The initiative is match-funded by the European Commission via its Horizon 2020 programme, and Ocean Energy Europe are on board as project partners.

Both the Basque Country and Scotland have long histories of industrial strength and today are centres of innovation. Both are committed to full decarbonisation and have developed long-term strategies to transition their energy systems.

EuropeWave will build on these strengths to ensure that the Basque Country and Scotland remain leading players in Europe’s emerging ocean energy sector and the wider energy transition.

New report calls for streamlined, science-based consenting processes for ocean energy

Deploying ocean energy at scale requires simpler, faster consenting processes that are informed by the latest environmental research, according to a new report launched today. To date, there is no evidence that ocean energy has a negative impact on the marine environment – in fact, its role in mitigating climate change is clearly a positive one. Regulatory decision-making should be designed with this in mind, and provide an easier path into the water for these innovative technologies.

Authored by a sectoral advisory body, the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy (ETIP Ocean), the report aims to make the decision-making process more efficient and better informed. It calls for more real-world, long-term data and greater knowledge-sharing across projects, to strengthen the science behind consenting decisions.

The report advocates an ‘Adaptive Management’ approach that responds to new information over time, reducing uncertainty when it comes to environmental impact.

Equipping developers with the right information is also key. Another of the report’s recommendations is a ‘single authority’ – a national contact point, who supports developers in navigating the requirements. Companies could also learn from each another’s consenting experiences via a peer-to-peer platform, suggests the report.

Financial support to help developers take part in environmental programmes above and beyond the legal minimum is another vital aspect of improving the quality and quantity of data available. Many are SMEs and their resources are heavily invested in technology development, leaving little or nothing for additional monitoring programmes.

Felix Leinemann, Head of Unit at the European Commission, who launched the report, said: “As recognised in the European Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy, facilitating access to the sea is a key factor in the development of a competitive European ocean energy sector. This report highlights the need to continue environmental monitoring programmes such as those supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, to accelerate ocean energy deployments across Europe.”

Lotta Pirttimaa from Ocean Energy Europe, the report’s author, commented: “As the sector grows, and both projects and machines get bigger, it is more important than ever that the consenting process is both fit-for-purpose and based on real-life observations. It is time for regulators to strike the right balance between diligence and simplicity when it comes to the way these processes are designed and implemented.”

Download the full ETIP Ocean report ‘Ocean energy and the environment: Research and strategic actions’

Donwload the press release

Ocean Energy Europe’s Vi Maris industry award goes to SME’s Jason Hayman

Jason Hayman, CEO of Sustainable Marine Energy, is the winner of this year’s Vi Maris Award. The prestigious industry award was presented to Hayman during the annual Ocean Energy Europe Conference & Exhibition, being held online. Vi Maris, meaning ‘the power of the sea’, is an industry award established by Ocean Energy Europe, which recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual to the ocean energy sector.

Jason Hayman was nominated for over a decade of tireless work for the ocean energy sector. At the helm of Sustainable Marine Energy* since 2009, Jason has navigated both the Plat-O and Plat-I floating tidal devices through their demonstration phases, and is now gearing up to install one of the world’s foremost tidal energy projects in Canada.

The Pempa’q In-stream Tidal Energy Project is a multi-device array to be deployed in the Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides. The project recently secured €18.4m in funding from the Canadian government and is destined to provide up to 9MW of clean, predictable tidal energy into the grid.

IRENA and Ocean Energy Europe Partner to Drive Ocean Energy Industry

New IRENA reports forecast a 20-fold growth potential of ocean energy by 2030, providing coastal communities with a climate-safe roadmap for COVID-19 recovery

The CEO of Ocean Energy Europe (OEE), Rémi Gruet and the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Francesco La Camera, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today at the annual Ocean Energy Europe Conference & Exhibition. The partnership will deepen existing cooperation to accelerate the commercialisation of ocean energy technologies, by promoting the right policy incentives and innovative business models in Europe and globally.

Oceans hold abundant, largely untapped renewable energy potential that could drive a vigorous global blue economy, as two new studies, also released today by IRENA show. ‘Fostering a blue economy: Offshore renewable energy’ and the Agency’s ‘Innovation outlook: Ocean energy technologies’ find that in addition to providing mainstream power generation, a blue economy driven by offshore renewables will bring major benefits to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and coastal communities.

Ocean Energy Europe welcomes Eni as new Lead Partner

Leading Italian energy company Eni is joining Ocean Energy Europe, taking up a seat on the Board of Directors as a Lead Partner, the industry body announced today. Vincenzo Michetti, Eni’s Head of Upstream R&D will represent the company on the Board. With over three decades of experience at Eni, Mr Michetti brings his expertise in international energy production to bear in the exciting new area of ocean energy.

Headquartered in Italy, where it was founded in 1953, Eni is a global, integrated energy company working in 66 countries around the world. After a long history of activity, predominantly in the oil & gas sector, the company has, over the last six years, started a transformation that will lead it to drastically cut its carbon emissions. It aims to become a leader in the production and marketing of decarbonised products by 2050. Eni’s ventures into renewables, such as ocean energy, epitomise its new business model, with its combination of economic and environmental sustainability.

Eni and the Politecnico di Torino, in Italy, have recently inaugurated MORE – Marine Offshore Renewable Energy Lab – a joint research laboratory that aims to develop ocean energy to its full potential. The lab will fuel the expansion of research into marine energy sources, from wave power to offshore wind and solar power, ocean and tidal currents, and salinity gradient.

High deployments, low costs: The 2030 vision for ocean energy

3 GW of ocean energy could be deployed worldwide, with costs falling to around €90/MWh for tidal stream and €110/MWh for wave energy, according to a new publication by industry body Ocean Energy Europe. The 2030 Ocean Energy Vision, launched today, charts an exciting path for ocean energy’s roll-out over the coming decade.

Over 90% of the world’s ocean energy could be installed in Europe over the next decade, reflecting the strong global position that Europe holds in ocean energy. The publication’s supply chain mapping clearly illustrates the industrial and social opportunity that ocean energy represents. Whether it’s cutting steel, designing gearboxes or installing machines in the open sea, wave and tidal farms will harness Europeans’ existing skills and help drive the economic recovery.

Laying the groundwork for a new European renewable sector today will deliver jobs, exports, industrial regeneration throughout the 2030s, and unlock full decarbonisation by 2050.

Ambitious targets for ocean energy in the forthcoming European Strategy for Offshore Renewable Energy, are critical to achieving this. Targets must be complemented by deeper cooperation between the EU and national governments, particularly on revenue support and permitting. Taken together, these policy actions will stimulate investment, get large-scale projects in the water and drive costs down further.

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

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.