The European Commission (EU) has published an overview of the ocean energy market. In the report Ocean Energy, the EU states that wave energy and tidal energy have great potential, but their high cost currently prevent them from competing against wind energy.
The report examines ocean energy alternatives, such as wave energy, tidal stream energy, salinity gradient, and ocean thermal energy conversion. The two-last are still at an early development stage.
Wave and tidal stream energy have great potential and can represent an important share of the future energy mix. However, it depends to a large extent on better and higher investments and research projects to reach lower costs and reliability.
ADEME and DG MARE state as a possible scenario that tidal stream energy capacity could reach 880 to 2200 MW by 2030. Wave energy will compete heavily against offshore wind energy. In order to reach a competitive level and represent a higher share in the energy market, a significant reduction in CAPEX and OPEX to values similar to the offshore wind energy is required.
The report shows that 25 EU member states have research activities within the ocean energy sector and 674 active companies. The ocean energy sector received EUR 2.7 billion in private investments between 2003 and 2017, and EUR 390 million in direct national funding.