Yes, Inform me when...

International Vision for Ocean Energy Deployment

Start: 2015 | End: Permanent

PHASE I - Development of an International Roadmap
Roadmaps (RMs) are an effective tool to underpin the identification of priority focus areas and investments to accelerate ocean energy technology development, allowing LCOE reductions to be realised.

Additionally, roadmaps can facilitate the creation of international frameworks to accelerate the development and adoption of low carbon technologies.

Unified international policies are a key step towards a successful marine energy industry and then the creation of an international roadmap is very important to achieve that goal.

There is an opportunity for OES in collaboration with its members to engage with and support the construction and development of an International Ocean Energy technology roadmap, engaging with ongoing work in international assessments of LCOE, and building upon this with directed effort at outlining the credible pathways towards a reduced LCOE, and demonstrating the long term implications of ensuring ocean energy plays a significant role within the EU energy mix. This opportunity is in line with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) own technology road-mapping work (and the policies that underpin these documents), and can underpin and enhance international collaboration, whilst influencing and guiding both political and business decision makers within the field of ocean energy.

Originally, the UK was the only country with a dedicated ocean energy technology roadmap. Now that other countries are planning their own ocean energy roadmaps (Chile, Canada or the US) there is significant opportunity for OES to provide underpinning knowledge and information to these initiatives, as well as providing synthesis and identification of common areas and synergies. This will avoid international duplication of effort while at the same time providing opportunities for ocean energy sector acceleration. In addition, it will provide invaluable guidance to countries presently without their own dedicated ocean energy roadmap.

The overall objective of the ocean energy technology roadmap was to achieve LCOE targets within the ocean energy sector. This requires principal focus on two key areas: Reliability improvement and Performance Improvement.

The ocean energy technology roadmap will outlines the credible routes to LCOE reduction in terms of both innovation pathways, and milestones that must be achieved. This roadmap was specifically designed to influence the OES members, mainly public and private technology funders in order to give them advice regarding R&D prioritization.


Approach for the development of a Roadmap
A Battelle approach to road-mapping is utilised in combination with stakeholder workshops and/or with interviews with key stakeholders.
The main steps of the Battelle approach are displayed below:
Step 1 : Vision Statement

  • The OES Vision Statement defines the major target for 2020-2050, which will be achieved through the various stages of the Deployment Strategy. The first stage will be accomplished by providing new information for updating the OES An International Vision for Ocean Energy document, which will be underpinned by the OES Levelised Cost Of Energy project and the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives modelling work.
  • Step 2: Analyse Current Landscape.
    Defined as a capabilities assessment including details of:
    • Existing, underpinning research.
    • Development & demonstration projects.
    • Research facilities and test centres.
    • International and national networks.

This will require significant international interaction. The OES members will play a key role in representing the views of the various national stakeholders they represent.

  • Step 3: The RM route and destination including:
    • Deployment Challenges:
      Such scenario should include installed capacity for economy of scale, energy/electricity production and other products (in the case of OTEC), efficiency improvement and technology improvement for instance. It is suggested that this activity is conducted utilising  an engagement/workshop or interview process to define a deployment scenario for each of the relative technologies. Critical technology development strategy timelines will be included in the strategy.
    • Commercial Challenges
      The commercial challenges define the mechanisms and infrastructure required to achieve the various stages in the deployment strategy – ultimately the identification of the correct policies and frameworks for establishing ocean energy technologies on a pathway to commercialisation.
    • Technical Challenges
      Although dependent on both the deployment and commercial strategies, the underpinning technical strategy is the main focus of an R&D roadmap. The technical strategy would be divided into themes or Technology Working Areas (TWAs), which represent the technology development chain in the emerging technologies. Many of the identified technology challenges relating to this analysis cross international borders. 
      In addition to international identification of challenges there will be the important opportunity for the identification of solutions to these challenges from both the engineering supply chain and research bases in the varying countries.

As a result of this Task, an International Vision for Ocean Energy Report has been published in 2017. This report can be downloaded in English and Spanish version, at the bottom of this page.

In 2022, the OES decided to review the International Vision. The future vision will address a number of key challenge areas, all of which must be concurrently and systematically solved to provide the sector with a clear pathway to meeting its future targets. This will involve producing a concise summary of both the present and future global development plans for the sector, including barriers to commercialisation, supply chain evolution and technology improvements to lower the localised cost of energy. There will be a need to evaluate technological and non-technological challenges as the sector progresses towards increasing states of TRL, with guidance provided by relevant bodies to ensure that the necessary technology innovation required to advance the sector occurs. Ensuring that the figures for job creation and gross value added for national and international economies are clearly highlighted will be important in ensuring continued financial and legislative support for the sector. Overall, a series of recommendations will be formulated and put forward to accelerate the development of tidal stream and wave technologies. 


The OES is organised under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) but is functionally and legally autonomous. Views, findings and publications of the OES do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or its individual member countries.