Photo: Illustration/Aqua Power Technologies’ MANTA wave energy device at salmon farm (Courtesy of Aqua Power Technologies)

IEA-OES spotlights aquaculture as market for ocean energy in new report

Ocean Energy Systems (OES), a technology collaboration program within the International Energy Agency (IEA), has published a new study on ocean renewable energy technologies and their application in the offshore aquaculture industry.

Illustration/Aqua Power Technologies’s MANTA wave energy device at salmon farm (Courtesy of Aqua Power Technologies)
Illustration/Aqua Power Technologies’ MANTA wave energy device installed at a Scottish salmon farm (Courtesy of Aqua Power Technologies)

Published in April 2022, a new study titled ‘Offshore Aquaculture: a Market for Ocean Renewable Energy’ aims to to shed more light on the energy requirements worldwide for the aquaculture sector.

Ocean renewable energy and offshore aquaculture are two industries that are likely compatible for co-location, as ocean renewables have the potential to provide power for offshore aquaculture at sea, while decreasing the environmental impact of operations and replacing the reliance on diesel at the same time.

Therefore, the report provides information on energy demands from aquaculture operations around the world, highlighting 12 case studies and lessons learned, while also exploring marine-based aquaculture projects that have used ocean energy, solar photovoltaic, offshore wind technologies, or hybrid solutions to meet energy demands of aquaculture.

The IEA-OES report also discusses the opportunities and challenges for co-locating ocean renewable energy and offshore aquaculture, associated with technical and operational processes, regulatory processes (including environmental effects and social acceptance), and economic impact.

It also offers recommendations to advance these industries, as the synergistic opportunities for co-located aquaculture and renewable energy can provide a multifunctional use of space and resources, creating opportunities to automate operations for safety and sustainability, according to IEA-OES.

Yann-Hervé De Roeck, OES chairman, said: “Given the increasing need to derive food from the oceans through aquaculture, and the evidence for this new human activity to be as carbon-free as possible, the potential for direct use of ocean energy for this sector had to be assessed very carefully: this report sheds a very useful and inspiring insight into this issue.”

The report, commissioned by IEA-OES, was prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (BE CRC), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and OceanPixel, with further funding support from the United States Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office, and the BE CRC.

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