European ocean energy industry outlines research priorities

The European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy (TP Ocean) has defined the research priorities for Europe’s ocean energy industry in the latest report released today.

The report called the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) aims to increase reliability, while reducing risk and technology costs, across the ocean energy industry in the most efficient manner.

It is the first European document to prioritize research topics for the ocean energy industry, according to Ocean Energy Europe (OEE), and was produced by 220 industry experts from 150 organisations over a two year period.

The SRA prioritizes 12 research areas and proposes 54 research and innovation actions to bring ocean energy technologies forward.

The research areas, summarized below, have been attributed indicative budgets that industry, national authorities and the European Commission need to commit to R&I programs, and cover three main R&I categories:

  • Stepping up deployment to validate data and improve data collection,
  • Improving materials to survive the sea environment,
  • Developing a bespoke ocean energy supply chain.

Jacopo Moccia, Secretary General of TP Ocean, said: “RD&I investment has the biggest impact when it is prioritized and coordinated. The SRA provides the industry’s consensus on where research program, such as the EU’s Horizon 2020, should focus. It will also help coordinate ocean energy research across Europe.”

Andras Siegler, Director of the Energy, DG Research & Innovation at the European Commission, said: “This report from the ocean energy industry is very timely. The Commission is now developing new policies to support research and innovation, and the SRA is a welcome input to this process.”

The SRA recognizes that for ocean energy to achieve its full potential and play a major role in Europe’s energy mix, its cost of energy needs to come down and tend towards €c10/kWh or lower, OEE said.

Moccia outlined what the industry must do to reach this target: “The industry has three core challenges ahead if it is to reach its cost targets: Improving the reliability of ocean energy devices; reducing the perceived technology risk; and reducing technology costs. These need to be addressed in that order. The SRA prioritizes research topics which address these challenges.”

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