OEE marks 2016 as take-off year for ocean energy

Sabella's D10 tidal turbine (Photo: Sabella)

Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) has released a new report marking 2016 as a take-off year for ocean energy industry with an unprecedented number of ocean energy deployments in Europe.

The report, titled Ocean Energy Project Spotlight – Investing in Tidal & Wave Energy, highlights the key projects driving the ocean energy sector forward, OEE said.

By the end of 2016, a total of 21 tidal turbines of over 100kW were deployed in European waters reaching 13MW, while the ongoing construction on further 20 turbines will add up to 12MW, according to OEE.

The report states that over the past years, 13 wave energy devices of 100kW or bigger have been deployed at sea, totaling almost 5MW, out of which ten were deployed over the last 3 years alone.

Commenting on the report, Jacopo Moccia, OEE Policy Director, said: “Europe’s ocean energy industry began to take off in 2016, with just under 20MW deployed capacity in the water by the end of the year and another 30MW under construction. Most notably, the tidal industry deployed its first pre-commercial farms at Paimpol-Bréhat in France; and the MeyGen and Shetland Tidal Array projects in Scotland.

“Following a couple of rocky years, wave energy has steadied itself and the front-runner technologies are gearing up to deploy their first pre-commercial farms over the next two to three years.”

Moccia added that these developments were driven partly by the EU, with Horizon 2020 committing €130 million to ocean energy since 2014, and the European Investment Bank which has in 2016 invested in the sector for the first time.

“Europe currently leads the world in ocean energy technology. With the right support over the coming decade, this will mean creating a new manufacturing sector capable of meeting 10% of Europe’s electricity demand,” concluded Moccia.

OEE is a Brussels-based industry group representing the renewable ocean energy sector in Europe which acts as the main link between Europe’s ocean energy industry and the EU institutions, and EU Member States.

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