Ocean Energy Europe, IRENA ink partnership deal to spice up power applied sciences


Ocean Energy Europe and Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on December 1 to deepen current cooperation to speed up the commercialisation of ocean power applied sciences, by selling the proper coverage incentives and progressive enterprise fashions in Europe and globally, IRENA mentioned.
Ocean Energy Europe CEO Rémi Gruet and IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera signed the MoU on the annual Ocean Energy Europe Conference & Exhibition on December 1.
According to 2 new research by IRENA, oceans maintain ample, largely untapped renewable power potential that might drive a vigorous international blue financial system. Fostering a blue financial system: Offshore renewable power and the Agency’s Innovation outlook: Ocean power applied sciences discover that along with offering mainstream energy era, a blue financial system pushed by offshore renewables will deliver main advantages to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and coastal communities, IRENA mentioned in a press launch.
Ocean power can’t solely assist to decarbonise energy era, present inexpensive and dependable entry to electrical energy, assist international locations to fulfil Paris Agreement pledges and contribute to international local weather motion, IRENA mentioned, including that offshore renewables may also help meet power wants for delivery, cooling and water desalination, laying the muse for a broad-based blue financial system and trade. They create jobs, enhance well being, strengthen folks’s livelihoods and foster wider socioeconomic alternatives for a inexperienced restoration from COVID-19.
“Renewable energy from oceans has the potential to meet four times the global electricity demand of today, foster a blue economy, and bring socio-economic benefits to some of the most vulnerable areas to climate change such as SIDS and coastal areas,” La Camera mentioned. “Close cooperation with OEE in platforms like IRENA’s Collaborative Framework and Coalition for Action is absolutely vital to share knowledge with industry to ensure a widespread deployment of ocean and offshore renewables in the future,” he added.
For his half, Gruet hailed the formalisation of a “fruitful collaboration between OEE and IRENA”. “Europe is a world-leader in the development of ocean energy, but the massive potential of these technologies is unarguably global in scale. Working on joint initiatives and exchanging information with IRENA will strengthen the advancement of these technologies on the international stage,” he mentioned.
Today, ocean power accounts for approximately 530 megawatts of put in era capability globally, IRENA mentioned, including that the tidal stream and wave initiatives at present below development could add one other three gigawatts (GW) of put in capability short-term throughout the subsequent 5 years, most of it in Europe (55%), Asia-Pacific (28%) and the Middle East and Africa (13%). However, with the proper incentives and regulatory frameworks in place, IRENA foresees the potential progress of ocean power as much as 10 GW of put in capability by 2030 globally.
“Following the steps of wind power and solar PV, innovative offshore renewables have seen huge cost reductions in recent years. Tidal and wave energy already offer a viable alternative for remote diesel-powered island territories with high electricity costs. As economies of scale push costs down even further, these technologies will become affordable options alongside mature renewable energy sources. Strong R&I programs, revenue support, and regional co-operation in marine spatial planning are now needed to bring these technologies to the commercial stage,” IRENA mentioned.
At the Ocean Energy Europe Conference, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson mentioned on December 1 mentioned offshore power may also help Europe meets its local weather targets. “Offshore energy – wave, tidal and wind – is about playing to our natural strengths that our planet is providing us. It’s the oldest trick in the book, really. And in Europe, we have seas and an ocean that are naturally full of renewable energy ready for the taking. We are well positioned to exploit this opportunity. Already the EU is the global technological leader in ocean energies,” Simson mentioned.
The Commissioner famous that in 2018 EU international locations represented eight out of the highest ten international exporters on this space.  “EU companies hold 66% of the patents in tidal and 44% in wave energy. EU DNA runs throughout projects across the world. This head start is an advantage if we want to become the world powerhouse of offshore technologies. But it’s not a given. We have a lot of work to do. To get to the levels of offshore renewable energy that we are seeking we need to change the entire system surrounding offshore energy in Europe. And that also means a change in thinking,” Simson mentioned.
“A few weeks ago we launched our EU strategy on offshore energy to do just that. We have set our sights on 300 GW of offshore wind and 40 GW of ocean energy across our basins by 2050. And in the next ten years alone we want to produce at least 1GW of tidal and wave energy. Our strategy lays out our way forward for reaching these goals. How we can reduce costs. How we can support companies bringing new technologies from idea to market. And how we can optimise our regulation, where needed,” the Commissioner mentioned.
“Overall, I see this strategy as the beginning of a new way of thinking in three main areas. First, from borders to basins. We expect to install 300 – plus 40 GW of offshore renewable energy. That translates to many more sites for production as well as many more connections to the grid. Close regional cooperation is going to be absolutely key. We are talking about building on our collective natural resource. Five basins. We must force ourselves to plan based on these basins, not individual Member States. This will be key for scaling up in a cost-effective way,” Simson mentioned.
“Second, we need to shift our thinking from concentrated to connected. Connected means a number of things when it comes to offshore energy. Let’s look at the infrastructure first. Because without the right electricity grid to bring the power onshore efficiently and directly to consumers, our plans are a moot point. Right now we are working on the revision of the TEN-E regulation which will arrive later this year. It will propose a framework for onshore and offshore grid infrastructure development,” she mentioned. “Thinking in a more connected way also means looking at those areas impacted by changes to our seas and oceans. Our energy needs should be aligned with our environmental principles as well as everything else that takes place in the sea – fishing, tourism, shipping and defence,” she added.
“Third, from energy to economy. This strategy is not just about the renewable energy industry. The industry supporting offshore is pan-European. Offshore energy might only be visible to the naked eye when we stand on the coast and look out to sea. But that growing value chain stretches all the way, inland even to those countries without direct access to the sea,” Simson mentioned, noting that  2500 persons are employed within the ocean power in Europe. But there may be potential for a lot of instances extra.
Offshore power as an trade provides new alternatives, sure for renewable power, but additionally for the financial system in areas most affected by the clear power transition, the Commissioner mentioned, including, “And that’s even more relevant today than it was one year ago when we launched the Green Deal as Europe’s growth strategy”.