Experts tackle effectiveness of global ocean energy policies

Illustration/Azura wave energy device (Photo: US DoE)

Ocean Energy Systems (OES) has released a report summarized from a workshop held last year that provides analysis of current ocean energy policies in its member countries with recommendations to make them more effective.

The objective of the workshop was to review and discuss the lessons learnt from various existing ocean energy policies and other support measures that have been implemented in OES member countries.

The workshop hosted a number of ocean energy experts from various organizations including National Renewable Energy Laboratory, PLOCAN, Innovate UK, Tecnalia, and WavEC who scrutinized the current policies in OES member countries to provide feedback to policy makers on ideas and approaches to improve the effectiveness of future ocean energy policies.

The participants of the workshop agreed that ocean energy policies that worked well were those where funding agent policies have been flexible, agents worked closely with industry, and have been responsive the industry’s needs, it is stated in the report.

Also, an incremental approach to development at a modest scale and in collaboration with universities was identified as being productive. However, the current policies found not to be working well were in the cases where funding agencies had expectations that were too optimistic regarding the cost and time to develop ocean energy technologies.

The workshop participants recommended that there should be clear, specifically tailored policies addressing ocean energy technology development with associated funding levels and realistic timelines, according to the report.

The report further states that policies should create targeted stepping stone markets and incentivize early development and deployment of ocean energy technologies to prove their viability in realistic commercial applications.

OES stated that the conclusions in the report do not represent the position of OES as they are simply the opinions expressed by the individual participants in the workshop.

The workshop was organized by the US Department of Energy, hosted by the Swedish Energy Agency and facilitated by Robert Thresher of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Henry Jeffrey of the University of Edinburgh in May, 2016.

OES is an intergovernmental collaboration between countries operating under a framework established by the International Energy Agency to advance research, development and demonstration of conversion technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources.

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