Targeted Innovation to Drive Large-Scale Deployment of Ocean Energy

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 on June 19, 2020.

2 ETIPOcean SRIA coverThis is just one of the research and innovation priorities that the report identifies for ocean energy over the next five years.

For the first time, the sectoral advisory body highlights the 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 and 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, which will reduce costs and increase the reliability and yield of ocean energy devices.

As Europe gears up for its ‘green recovery’, deploying new technologies is urgently needed to drive decarbonization and innovation-based growth. Proving the worth of pre-commercial ocean energy projects will ensure that this technology continues its remarkable progress and will kick-start 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 programs 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, agreed. “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 the actions outlined in the SRIA will bring the sector closer to a place where private investment becomes the primary driver. Revenue support is still needed to enable the deployment of demonstration and pre-commercial projects – together, these efforts will help deliver a decarbonized Europe, powered by ocean energy.

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