Targeted innovation to drive large-scale deployment of ocean energy, report says

Ocean energy devices and pilot farms should be demonstrated in real-sea conditions for several years to accelerate large-scale deployment, according to ETIP Ocean’s new ‘Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA)’, published today.

This is just one of the priorities that the report identifies for ocean energy over the next five years.

For the first time, it highlights integration of ocean energy pilot farms into the energy system as a priority.

This reflects the sector’s readiness to enter the market at a larger scale.

It also underlines ocean energy’s key role as a balancing partner to variable wind and solar power.

It also calls for improvements in sub-systems, marine operations, foundations and connections.

This should reduce costs and increase the reliability and yield of ocean energy devices.

As Europe gears up for its ‘green recovery’, it needs new technologies to drive decarbonisation and innovation-based growth.

Proving the worth of pre-commercial ocean energy projects will ensure this technology continues its progress and will also launch a new, large-scale industry in Europe.

Patrick Child, deputy director general at the European Commission, who launched the report, said:

“European Technology and Innovation Platforms are hugely valuable in identifying research priorities for funding programmes such as Horizon Europe.

“This report highlights the R&I potential to transform ocean energy into an economically viable source of clean energy and jobs in Europe as part of a strong, forward-looking European Green Deal.”

Jose Luis Villate from Tecnalia, the report’s lead author, also said:

“The new SRIA provides a blueprint to keep Europe at the front of the pack in ocean energy technology development.

“Targeted innovation will bring the sector to industrial roll-out and help to reignite the European economy by providing jobs, exports, SME activity and technological leadership.”

Implementing SRIA-outlined actions could bring the sector closer to a place where private investment becomes the primary driver.

Revenue support needs to enable the deployment of demonstration and pre-commercial projects.

Finally, these efforts will help deliver a decarbonised Europe, powered by ocean energy.