Page 54 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2016 publication
P. 54

54  Summer 2016 European Energy Innovation


Is the EU willing to do what it
takes to get ocean energy over
the line?

European energy policy is in flux. The Energy Union strategy, launched last year seeks to address the
bloc’s precarious energy security situation. EC president Jean-Claude Juncker has come to power
launching an unprecedented EU-wide investment programme to unlock growth and job creation
potential, with renewables as a priority. Commitments made at COP21 imply a full decarbonisation of the
power sector. All of this will require new renewable energy technologies, such as ocean energy. But is the
Europe willing to do what it takes to get ocean energy over the line to commercialization?
By Rémi Gruet, CEO, Ocean Energy Europe

Courtesy of Atlantis Resources              WHY DOES EUROPE NEED OCEAN
                                            The size of the prize for
                                            commercialising ocean energy is huge.
                                            In Europe alone, the ocean energy
                                            industry plans to deploy 100GW of
                                            production capacity by 2050, meeting
                                            10% of electricity demand. That’s
                                            enough to meet the daily electricity
                                            needs of 76 million households.
                                            Deploying 100GW of ocean energy
                                            will also mean creating a new industrial
                                            sector based firmly in Europe, and
                                            400,000 skilled jobs all along the
                                            supply chain.

                                            Ocean energy has significant export
                                            market potential. European companies
                                            are the clear global leaders in ocean
                                            energy, accounting for 66% of tidal
                                            energy patents and 44% of wave
                                            energy patents globally. This puts them
                                            in prime position to capture a global
                                            market estimated to be worth 53€bn
                                            annually in 2050.

                                            Both politically and economically,
                                            Europe needs ocean energy to
                                            reduce its overreliance on fossil fuel
                                            imports, which cost over €1bn per
                                            day. Indigenous sources such as
                                            renewables represent a ‘no-regrets’
                                            option in this regard. Furthermore,
                                            ocean energy stabilises the electricity
                                            grid. In the coming years ocean energy
                                            will complement the use of other
                                            renewables like wind and solar because

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