Message from the IEA-OES
Increased collaboration is key to overcoming challenges faced by the ocean energy sector
11th April 2017
Increased collaboration is key to overcoming challenges faced by the ocean energy sector.
The Ocean Energy Systems (OES) Technology Collaboration Programme of the International Energy Agency has today published its annual report with an assessment of the current state of the ocean energy industry. The report looks at the progress made by each of the 25 OES members.
New members joining the organisation since last year’s report include France, India and the European Commission. Each new member will contribute to the current work of OES in the areas of wave energy, tidal energy, ocean currents, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and salinity gradients.
By joining OES, the European Commission has strengthened its support for the development of ocean energy technologies. Ocean energy is expected to contribute to decarbonisation of the EU energy system by providing up to 10% of European electricity needs by 2050, as stated in the Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap published by the Ocean Energy Forum (OEF) in November 2016.
The new annual report also presents in-depth interviews with five key players in the open sea testing of ocean energy technologies (USA, Canada, UK, Spain and Japan). Commenting on the current position of the sector, Samantha Quinn of the USA’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) said, “By building more facilities, giving more opportunities for developers around the world to test in a variety of sea-states, the industry will see more improvement and the potential for a commercial industry sooner than projected.”
Oliver Wragg of the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) said, “Only by proving performance in a real sea environment can developers truly progress to commercial projects. Verified performance data from open-water testing will continue to build confidence amongst the investment community and help developers bring their concepts to a global clean energy market.”
Tony Wright of FORCE in Canada, commenting on key lessons learned from the operation of an open sea test center, said, “There must be a concerted effort to collect, interpret, and share data related to any environmental effects.” Yago Torre-Enciso of Bimep in Spain adds that, “Test centers help developers to save money and time.” Takaaki Morita, speaking on behalf of Nagasaki AMEC in Japan, states that they are “planning to provide the opportunity for the developer to test cost effective methods of installation and O&M.”
Alongside their ‘International Vision for Ocean Energy’, launched earlier this year, the OES 2016 Annual Report highlights examples where exchange of ideas between industries and nations has led to benefits in the development, installation, operation and maintenance of prototypes, as well as on services and streamlining procedures. This reflects some of the key benefits of joining OES, namely global perspective, knowledge sharing between members and access to advanced innovation teams around the world.
Mr José Luis Villate, OES Chairman for the past 4 years, said, “2016 will probably be seen as a take-off year for ocean energy: while several devices were being deployed, some governments set up firm policies to support ocean energy.”
Mr Henry Jeffrey, OES Chairman 2017 – 2018
Incoming OES Chairman Mr Henry Jeffrey of the University of Edinburgh, a long-time advocate of knowledge sharing, said, “Our 2050 goal of 300 GW of installed capacity, saving over 500 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, will only be achieved through extensive sharing of knowledge and experience to accelerate the development of the ocean energy sector”.
ABOUT THE OES
Ocean Energy Systems (OES), also known as the Technology Collaboration Programme on Ocean Energy Systems is an intergovernmental collaboration between countries, which operates under a framework established by the International Energy Agency in Paris. Presently, the OES has 25 member countries with a number of other observer countries in the process of joining.
Executive Committee Secretary
Dr. Ana Brito e Melo
WavEC - Offshore Renewables
Rua D. Jerónimo Osório, 11, 1º andar, 1400-119 Lisboa
Tel: +351 21 8482655