Photo: Illustration/CorPower C3 wave energy device (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean/Photo by Colin Keldie)

Ocean energy could create 1.2 million European jobs by 2050, report says

Europe could benefit from the €140 billion economic opportunity and 1.2 million new jobs by 2050 if it takes the lead in the global ocean energy market, a newly launched report states.

Illustration/CorPower C3 wave energy device (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean/Photo by Colin Keldie)
Illustration/CorPower C3 wave energy device (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean/Photo by Colin Keldie)

A new report – ‘A European Ocean Energy Industry – the €140bn Economic Opportunity – predicts that Europe could more than double the economic and employment benefits if it seizes the opportunity of global leadership in ocean energy developments.

If not, report warns, then other global players will reap the economic benefits – including from European projects.

Based on extensive modelling work done by the sectoral advisory body ETIP Ocean, the report has determined the economic and social benefits of ocean energy deployments according to two scenarios: Europe leading the global ocean energy market, or Europe following growth elsewhere.

In the ‘Europe leads the global market’ scenario, a third of all deployments take place in European waters – totalling 100GW by 2050. The first-mover advantage will ensure that leading technology developers and supply chain actors remain European and deliver 25% of the value of non-European projects, according to the report.

To unlock these benefits, the report calls for a successful implementation of the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy.

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The European Commission, member states and regions must put in place a supportive framework to establish a clear market for wave and tidal, according to the report.

Technological advances must continue by delivering the sector’s Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda via programmes such as Horizon Europe, the report concludes.

Henry Jeffrey from the University of Edinburgh, the co-author of the report, said: “This report makes very clear that ocean energy with both its economic and social benefits, has the potential to not only play a significant role in helping European countries achieve their net zero targets – but will also be fundamental to achieving a just transition in the energy sector”.

The paper summarises the key results from two ETIP Ocean reports. The first – ‘A study into the potential economic value offered to Europe from the development and deployment of wave and tidal energy to 2050’ – has been led by Charlotte Cochrane and Henry Jeffrey at University of Edinburgh, and was already reported about on Offshore Energy.

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The second – ‘A study into the potential social value offered to Europe from the development and deployment of wave and tidal energy to 2050’ – led by Jose Luis Villate and Pablo Ruiz-Minguela at Tecnalia, will soon available on the ETIP Ocean website.

ETIP Ocean is a recognised advisory body to the European Commission as part of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan) – the EU’s main Research and Innovation policy.

The advisory body brings together ocean energy experts to share knowledge and to define priorities for boosting the sector’s development.