Feasibility study for Australia’s integrated ocean energy marketplace gets underway
Global energy consultancy Xodus has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study that will look into developing a two-stage Integrated Ocean Energy Marketplace in Western Australia.
The first stage will feature a digital platform and knowledge base, used to model various integrated renewable energy systems and to propose bespoke energy solutions for ’blue economy’ market users.
The second stage will see the development of a physical, visitable marketplace situated near Albany in Western Australia, showcasing an integrated ocean energy microgrid, which will enable these market customers to see, interact with and gather real-time information about ocean energy solutions.
Driven by the Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG) cluster, the Integrated Ocean Energy Marketplace (IOEM) will show end-user markets how ocean energy can meet their needs, leading to the increased adoption of wave and tidal energy, increased accessibility to technology and increased understanding around affordability.
By bringing together global technology providers, renewable energy contributors and specialist suppliers with transitioning energy customers, the IOEM will be focused on scaling, commercializing and de-risking the ocean energy sector.
Stephanie Thornton, AOEG cluster manager, emphasized that, currently, Australia’s energy markets are largely unaware of the benefits of integrating ocean energy with other renewables, including offshore wind.
“We need to address this and raise the market’s awareness of the benefits of multi-purpose offshore energy parks that can optimize energy planning solutions as well as deliver low carbon solutions to marine-based industries and communities.
“We’ve identified there are four main barriers to the adoption of ocean energy – awareness, accessibility, affordability and commercial project delivery. The IOEM project has been designed to address these challenges head-on and directly connect key end-users to technical solutions in development.
“The blue economy market sector presents a large and immediate opportunity for wave and tidal energy to have a significant decarbonization impact,” Thornton said.
Alex Ogg, ocean energy program manager at National Energy Resources Australia (NERA who unveiled the feasibility study, said the lack of awareness about the potential of generating power from integrated tidal, offshore wind and wave energy must be addressed.
“Despite the fact that it has an almost limitless potential to produce clean energy more consistently and predictably than any other source, energy from our oceans has been too often overlooked.
“What also sets ocean energy apart is its ability to be integrated with other renewables – from discrete blue economy applications today to multi-use offshore energy parks in our future – adding huge value, consistency and complementary energy to the renewable supply,” Ogg said.
Matt Smith, Xodus’ environment and renewables manager APAC, added: “We are delighted to be pioneering new energy developments in Australia in collaboration with leading organizations like AOEG. The feasibility study will support the increasing knowledge base about Australia’s opportunity to improve the uptake of the marine estate to support Australia’s technology-led net zero ambitions.”
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