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Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement: An International Vision for Ocean Energy and a Review of 2009-2010 Achievements

Date: October 04, 2013 at 17:18 GMT

Introduction: The International Energy Agency (IEA) provides a framework for 42 collaborative programmes, known as Implementing Agreements, in the areas of renewable energy, fossil fuels, fusion power, end use and crosscutting activities for technology research, development, demonstration and deployment. Every implementing agreement develops its own strategy and work program in relation with the IEA goals: ener gy security, environmental protection and economic growth.

The Implementing Agreement on Ocean Energy Systems (OES-IA) is one of 10 renewable energy Implementing Agreements within the IEA. The OES-IA bring together countries to advance research, development and demonstration of conversion technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources, such as tides, waves, currents, temperature gradient (ocean thermal energy conversion and submarine geothermal energy) and salinity gradient for electricity generation as well as for other uses, such as, desalination, through international cooperation and information exchange.

The OES-IA covers all forms of energy generation, in which sea water forms the motive power, through its physical, chemical properties. It does not presently cover offshore wind generation, since sea water is not the motive power.

The period of 2007 - 2011 is the second 5-year term of the OES-IA. During 2009 a mid-term report was prepared on the ExCo’s progress to meet its 5-year Strategic Plan and presented to the Renewable Energy Working Party Group (REWP). The report, which is
available at the Publications page of the website (, reviews activities carried out in the current term, current issues facing the IA and solutions being enacted to address them. Five key strategic objectives were set for the second term:

  1. To actively encourage and support the development of networks of participants involved in research, development and demonstration, prototype testing and deployment, policy development, and deployment, and to facilitate networking opportunities.
  2. To become a trusted source of objective information and be effective in disseminating such information to ocean energy stakeholders, policymakers and the public.
  3. To promote and facilitate collaborative R&D, D to identify and address barriers to, and opportunities for, the development and deployment of ocean energy technologies.
  4. To promote policies and procedures consistent with sustainable development.
  5. To promote the harmonisation of standards, methodologies, terminologies and procedures where such harmonisation will facilitate the development of ocean energy.

A key focus for the next 5-year term is likely to be Objective 2 – to make the OES-IA an authoritative voice for ocean energy. 

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.