Powering Homes Today, Powering Nations Tomorrow
Powering Homes today, Powering Nations Tomorrow is a report by ETIP Ocean describing the challenges faced by the ocean energy sector and proposing four actions to overcome them.
Europe is a global leader in ocean energy. It has 66% of tidal energy patents and 44% of wave energy patents. The majority of projects around the globe use European ocean technology. This represents an opportunity for Europe to dominate a market worth EUR 53 billion annually.
By 2050, it is estimated that 100GW of tidal and wave energy capacity will be deployed meeting 10% of Europe’s current electricity needs. The new ocean energy technologies, combined with other renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, will cover the daily power demand in Europe. Renewable penetration will reach from 80% to 100% of supply.
In addition, the ocean energy industry can bring economic growth, especially in the coastal areas, creating 400,000 jobs and revitalizing exports, the infrastructure sector, and other supply chains.
Ocean energy must have the right finance framework to improve performance, reduce costs and reach commercialization.
Europe should implement an integrated strategy to enable technology development from early research to industrial roll-out. The Ocean Energy Forum has set up four different actions to create the policy framework to realize the sector’s full potential.
- Early-stage and prototype. Establish a European stage-gate programme that routes, through competitive calls, the best innovations and avoids duplication of R&D.
- Demonstration and pre-commercial farms. Provide a combined set of financial instruments, such as grant funding; public-supported equity; public-guaranteed loans; insurance and guaranteed fund; and revenue support.
- Demonstration to industrial roll-out. Create national-level revenue support designated specifically for ocean energy. This will propel the deployment of these types of projects and achieve a larger manufacturing volume, resulting in a reduction of cost per kWh. There are several available options to design effective revenue support mechanisms: competitive auctions in reserved ‘pots’, Feed-In-Tariffs, tax credits for private Power Purchase Agreements, among others.
- Data generation and best practice monitoring for licensing and consenting. Implement a constant environmental monitoring of the impacts of the projects to identify the best practice. This will enable governments to allow larger deployment of ocean energy projects, while still protecting local environments.
Diverse ocean energy technologies and devices are at different phases of development.
5 innovative technologies are being developed in Europe: tidal stream; wave energy; Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) and Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC); Salinity Gradient and tidal range.