The Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Energy Europe, Rémi Gruet, and the General Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Francesco La Camera, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the annual Ocean Energy Europe Conference & Exhibition.
The partnership will deepen existing cooperation to accelerate the commercialisation of ocean energy technologies, by promoting the right policy incentives and innovative business models in Europe and globally.
Oceans hold abundant, largely untapped renewable energy potential that could drive a vigorous global blue economy, as two new studies by IRENA, released in December 2020, show. ‘Fostering a blue economy: Offshore renewable energy’ and the agency’s ‘Innovation outlook: Ocean energy technologies’ find that in addition to providing mainstream power generation, a blue economy driven by offshore renewables would bring major benefits to Small Island Developing States and coastal communities.
Ocean energy can not only help to decarbonise power generation, provide affordable and reliable access to electricity, help countries to fulfil Paris Agreement pledges and contribute to global climate action. Offshore renewables can also help meet energy needs for shipping, cooling and water desalination, laying the foundation for a broad-based blue economy and industry. They create jobs, improve health, strengthen people’s livelihoods and foster wider socioeconomic opportunities for a green recovery from COVID-19.
Currently, ocean energy accounts for approximately 530 MW of installed generation capacity globally. Tidal stream and wave projects currently under construction may add another 3 GW of installed capacity short-term within the next five years, most of it in Europe (55%), Asia-Pacific (28%) and the Middle East and Africa (13%). However, with the right incentives and regulatory frameworks in place, IRENA foresees the potential growth of ocean energy of up to 10 GW of installed capacity by 2030 globally.
Following the steps of wind power and solar photovoltaic, 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 research and innovation programmes, revenue support, and regional cooperation in marine spatial planning are now needed to bring these technologies to the commercial stage.
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Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/other-renewables/01122020/irena-and-ocean-energy-europe-announce-partnership/