Study on lessons for ocean energy development

A new report released by the European Commission prepared by Ecorys and Fraunhofer

Europe has a significant ocean energy resource which could contribute to the decarbonisation of the energy system and create a new industry with export opportunities worldwide. Despite advancements in the last two decades, tapping into this resource has turned out to be a challenge.

This study has reviewed failures, lessons learnt and good practices in wave and tidal technology. This review revealed a consolidation in tidal and a fragmentation in the wave segment.

The main conclusion of the study is that root causes and barriers to development are diverse and interrelated. They call for an integrated approach, involving all stakeholders. Change of behaviour towards embracing good practices and learning from past experiences is urgent.

There is a need for a ‘covenant’ between the industry and public sector, which should (1) coordinate technology development; (2) promote certification, performance guarantees, standardisation and accreditation; (3) align framework conditions and support activities; (4) base technology development support on a staged approach; and (5) build and use an OET Monitoring Framework applying performance criteria on both technological and non-technological readiness. The study recommends to apply such a framework to define phased ‘ex ante conditionality’ for future funding, resulting in a more efficient support to wave and tidal energy.

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