EU Energy Commissioner talks energy security & independence at Dutch tidal power plant
European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson visited a trailblazing tidal energy project today, at the Eastern Scheldt Tidal Power Plant in Zeeland. The power plant has been supplying 100% predictable and renewable power since 2016 and is a prime example of what Europe can achieve with its indigenous wave and tidal resources.
Commissioner Simson and her delegation arrived at the plant on tidal-powered electric bikes – offering a glimpse of a future where tidal energy is an everyday part of EU citizens’ lives. The visit was organised by Ocean Energy Europe, together with Tocardo and the Dutch Marine Energy Centre, to illustrate how tidal energy is already producing clean and reliable electricity and can be a key part of Europe’s future energy mix.
The tidal power produced here is used locally to balance variable wind and solar plants, so that residents and businesses can benefit from a 100% renewable energy supply. This is just one example of how ocean energy can be combined with other renewables to deliver a European energy system which is secure, reliable and fully decarbonised.
The EU is a long-time supporter of ocean energy and has ambitious deployment targets for wave & tidal in its Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy. This has stimulated European governments to formulate their own plans – including the Netherlands’ ‘Marine Energy Roadmap’.
The EU is not alone in driving the sector forward – the UK, USA, Canada and China are working hard to deploy ocean energy at scale.
The EU Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, said “The EU is a world leader in offshore renewable energy and can become a powerhouse for its global development. But when we look at the current situation, it is clear we need even greater deployment of renewables. Energy security of supply also means diversity of supply, including from renewable sources. Tidal energy has great potential waiting to be harnessed. That’s why the European Commission supports quick deployment of ocean energy. We have set ambitious targets of 100MW by 2025, and 1GW by 2030 and provide funding possibilities, among others via Horizon Europe.”
Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, said: “Europe still has the technological & industrial lead in ocean energy, and thanks to the European Commission it’s got the right strategy too. Swift implementation is now paramount. The rest of the world is not sitting still.”
Andries van Unen, CEO of Tocardo, commented: “We’re proud to show off our pioneering installation. But it’s only the first step – Tocardo tidal turbines will soon be generating power for homes & businesses in the Netherlands and around the world.”
Britta Schaffmeister, CEO of the Dutch Marine Energy Centre, added: “The Tocardo installation showcases how Dutch entrepreneurialism and water management expertise will be an integral part of global decarbonisation efforts.”
View photos from the visit here