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Ocean Renewable Energy Potential: A pathway for Sustainable Energy Services for Coastal Countries with Developing Economies

Date: February 23, 2015 at 12:03 GMT

This research explores the emergence and adoption of Ocean Renewable Energy (ORE) by countries with developing economies having ocean resource potential, pointing towards its potential role for the delivery of energy services in Sub-Saharan Africa (SS-Africa). Several studies have shown the importance role played by ORE technologies in the context of delivering energy services for power supply with limited studies on the productive energy service needs for socio-economic and human
growth. Using qualitative techniques we obtained and analysed data from Nigeria, a country with coastal area of 853km with potentials to deliver energy services (power supply, desalination of water, aquaculture, irrigation) through ORE for its remote coastal communities. We found that literature for the provision for wider energy services – basic, productive and larger societal energy need was very limited in the context of renewable energy exploitation. Furthermore, ORE application in this field have equally been very scarce but has focused its research and development on electricity supply for
thereby ignoring the potential for other energy services delivery such as desalination of water with a by-product of biogas, irrigation, aquaculture, ocean biodiesel/biofuel, hydrogen generation. However to foster this development, an innovation system framework built around energy services delivery must be put in place. This framework must be underpinned by matching the ORE potentials and the energy service requirement within the context of the local communities' requirement consideration.
This could positively contribute to the possible commercialisation of ORE technologies and consequently instigate its wide diffusion and bring about socio-economic and human development in these developing countries.   

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