BLOG: Ocean energy reports focus on unprecedented generation; increasing the need for revenue support

In recent months we have seen the publication of a number of ocean energy reports, which have highlighted the pioneering developments in ocean energy activities across the globe.

Europe are continuing to lead the world in ocean energy deployments, with record volumes of electricity being achieved. In 2018 alone, European tidal stream installations reached 26.8MW, and wave energy installations 11.3MW, therefore providing a reliable source of electricity to a considerable number European homes.

But there is a clear conclusion of the reports, if Europe is to remain a world-leader in the ocean energy sector, continued revenue support is required to allow marine renewables manufacturers to continue to innovate and progress towards commercialisation.

The rest of the world is catching up with the UK and Europe, and the lack of national support is pushing developers to look for export opportunities. The industry is at a critical juncture and must be supported to allow for continued growth. We can’t allow the development and future opportunities for ocean energy activities to slip through our fingers – there’s simply too much at stake.

Commenting on the published reports, EMEC’s Managing Director, Neil Kermode said:

“It’s critical that the findings of these insightful reports are shared far and wide. The reports highlight the progress that has been made in the marine renewables industry across Europe, which has been nothing less than remarkable. It is without a doubt that these achievements wouldn’t have been made without the EU funded programmes such as Interreg and Horizon2020, which has allowed industry leaders to work in collaboration to drive forward the sector.

“But we can’t stop there, the industry needs support to develop further, and national governments need to commit revenue support, which will in turn unlock EU support and private investment. Let’s not repeat the UK’s failures of the past with money that is too hard to get, too little and too late. Let’s emulate Denmark’s success with wind where it was well targeted, early and effective. We need to learn from our mistakes and from the success of our neighbours and continue to be world leaders in marine renewables, whilst also allowing Europe to become cleaner and greener, and also benefit from the economic rewards.”

In a step forward on Friday, it was announced that 91 Members of Parliament from all the main parties have signed a letter to the Energy Minister Claire Perry, urging her to put measures in place to ensure that the UK capitalises on its role as a world leader in wave and tidal power. The letter, written by the Conservative MP Richard Graham, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Marine Energy and Tidal Lagoons, encourages the Government to include new policies to support innovative wave and tidal stream technologies in its upcoming Energy White Paper.

The Chair of the APPG, Richard Graham MP, said:

“Marine energy is an innovative, world-class industry in which the UK is a global leader. We have an unparalleled resource with 50% of Europe’s tidal energy and 35% of its wave energy. It is time to grasp the opportunity in front of us, as the Government has with offshore wind. Right now people are clamouring for more action on climate change. Marine energy provides a perfect opportunity for the Government to show that it is listening.”

Additionally new figures released from UK Government last week, show that a new high of 80% of the public are concerned about climate change. The message is clear, with the right support we must work together to reduce carbon emissions and transition into a low-carbon energy system.

To find out more and to read these insightful reports, see details below:

Ocean Energy Systems annual report 2018 – An overview of ocean energy activities in 2018

The report provides an overview of activity and achievements made in 2018, highlighting the significant progress being made internationally for the ocean energy industry. Several tidal projects achieved extensive operating hours with multi-GWhs of generation being clocked up globally, while wave energy technology has progressed with a number of large-scale laboratory and offshore tests.

Other key features in the report include:

o Overview of OES

o Reflection on International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE)

o Performance metrics on ocean energy

o International activities on ocean energy

European Technology & Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy Sector – Powering Homes Today, Powering Nations Tomorrow: Policy Solutions to Deliver Ocean Energy Industrial Roll-Out

This report clearly maps out Europe’s rich source of clean, predictable ocean energy. Recent industry successes are highlighted, including the record volumes of power being supplied to the grid by tidal stream technology, and several promising scale and full-sized wave devices going into the water.

It also analyses the challenges faced by the sector on the path to industrial roll-out and proposes four actions to overcome them. Alongside revenue support, a model for ‘blended’ public finance will allow the next round of ocean energy projects to reach financial close.

Estimating that 100GW of wave and tidal energy capacity can be deployed in Europe by 2050, meeting 10% of Europe’s current electricity needs, there is no denying the huge potential that the sector holds, which today remains largely untapped.

Ocean Energy-Key trends and statistics 2018, published by Ocean Energy Europe

Europe continues to lead the world in ocean energy deployments, and last year its tidal projects produced record volumes of electricity. But other parts of the world, especially Canada and China, are showing real progress and drive to take over the reins.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

o Tidal Stream: installation rates accelerating since 2015

o Wave Energy: Steady growth in cumulative capacity since 2010

o Record-breaking electricity production in 2018

o France, UK, and Italy lead installations

UK Marine Energy 2019: a new industry by the Marine Energy Council

This paper sets out the role that the UK’s marine energy industry can play in our energy system and our economy, its unique attributes and the rationale for government to adopt a coordinated and strategic approach to support the sector’s development.

Key features in the report include:

o UK marine energy and its global potential

o The blue economy

o Marine energy: delivering for the UK and exploring our low-carbon potential

o UK marine energy research

o Seizing the opportunity – a route to market

To keep up to date with ocean energy industry reports go to http://www.emec.org.uk/marine-energy/industry-reports/

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