Blue Economy and its Promising Markets for Ocean Energy
Ocean-based applications and markets are often located far from the coast, facing important offshore challenges, such the need for clean power. According to the six experts interviewed for this report, ocean energy can meet these anticipated needs and unlock the growth potential of the blue economy.
Blue economy covers a wide range of interlinked, established and emerging sectors. New or fast-growing marine industries, such as offshore aquaculture, ocean observation, storage, marine robotics, hydrogen production, etc., requires access to reliable energy. Here, ocean energy can play a unique role enabling new capabilities and economic development.
“It has been clear through our research and work with partners that there are myriad opportunities for thinking about energy and the blue economy, particularly as it relates to marine energy,” said Alejandro Moreno, Director for the Water Power Technologies Office in the U.S. Department of Energy.
Can niche markets serve as a development step for ocean energy technologies?
“Niche sectors are not pushing for big, but for quality. And that is what ocean energy has to deliver. Ocean energy has to proof to be a reliable and sustainable technology via niche applications in the next years, and by doing this it will be able to reduce its costs and to enter other markets as well,” Matthijs Soede of the European Commission’s DG Research & Innovation Unit stated.
Large scale deployment necessary for second-generation renewables
"Mature renewables wouldn’t be where they are today without large scale deployment underpinned by a supportive policy landscape – and it is no different for ocean energy,” Rémi Gruet, CEO of the Ocean Energy Europe argues when asked about his message for policy makers for creating the enabling conditions for the successful ocean energy development. “For European countries, providing the stimulus for 100 MW of ocean energy by 2025 and 3 GW by 2030 will give a clear signal to both the sector and investors. Now is the right moment to widely deploy a second- generation of renewables, such as wave, tidal and OTEC/SWAC, alongside mature wind and solar power,” he continues.
Companies eager to reduce carbon footprint
When asked about the acceptance for wave energy by the oil and gas industry, Cameron McNatt & Chris Retzler of Mocean Energy states the following: “At this point, there is more than a willingness to engage, companies are eager to find solutions that reduce their carbon footprint. There are two obstacles that wave energy faces. The primary one is low TRL level and less proven technology. The second is they are now demanding large CO2 reductions. Our current product, Blue Star, in some cases, does not have a large enough CO2 impact. O&G majors are looking to make major changes to their CO2 footprint and there is a need large-scale
solutions. The O&G industry is very risk adverse, and for good reason, they operate in an environment that is critical to health and safety and that is very expensive from an OPEX perspective. They want solutions that are proven, so the question is: how to prove it if you won’t give it a try?”