Time is running out for the EU to meet its 100MW ocean energy deployment target by 2025, according to Ocean Energy Europe.
The association’s new report, released today, states that “secure, decarbonised and affordable energy is a top EU priority, and this should be reflected in the timely implementation of its Offshore Renewables Strategy”.
Governments around the world have recently stepped up the development of ocean energy, via revenue support in the UK and Canada, a € 500m package in the US, and deployment plans in China’s 5-Year Plan.
Ocean Energy Europe’s report has highlighted that Europe has not matched the pace and risks losing its competitive advantage.
It also points out that “more than enough” European ocean energy projects are lined up, but “crucial funding and coordination actions” are needed to get them in the water.
Although implementation of the strategy has been “sluggish to date”, the good news is that its targets can still be achieved, said Ocean Energy Europe.
The report’s action plan focuses on using existing tools and processes, namely improving the funding available to ocean energy, making it easier to access, and improving coordination with Member States, as promised in the strategy.
Programs such as Horizon Europe, Innovation Fund and the successor to InnovFin EDP should be leveraged to get pilot farms in the water, the report stated.
The EU also has the “power to encourage” the inclusion of ocean energy projects in new National Energy and Climate Plans, to align sea basin planning to enable ocean energy projects, and to organize meetings amongst relevant civil servants at both European and national levels.
Remi Gruet (pictured)CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, said: “Ocean energy targets in the Offshore Strategy are exactly what Europe needs right now – it’s clean and home-grown, and can create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“But implementation is just as important.
“If Europe wants to stay out in front, it needs to act now. This report provides a clear ‘To-Do List’ to achieve this without re-inventing the wheel. ”