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European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ETIP OCEAN 2 (European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30

Europe’s electricity system in 2050 will have massively more renewable energy. Renewable electricity will be used to decarbonise large chunks of the transport, industry and heating/cooling sectors. Solar and wind will play a key role, but due to their variability, other renewables are needed to help balance the grid.
The European ocean energy sector has major potential in contributing to the decarbonisation of the EU electricity system. Being flexible and predictable with vast European resource, ocean energy will play an important role in balancing Europe’s electricity grid.
To reach this potential, sectoral stakeholders must collaborate, share knowledge, and avoid the duplication of efforts. There is also a need for close cooperation between the public and private stakeholders. The ETIP Ocean 2 project has been designed to deliver this.
The objectives of the ETIP Ocean 2 project are to support and accelerate European and global deployment of ocean energy, ensure optimal use of existing resources and streamline sectoral activities while ensuring maximal benefits for European industry and society.
These objectives will be achieved by reinforcing collaboration and knowledge-sharing among sectoral stakeholders. Based upon these exchanges, a series of accessible and information-based studies and reports will be released. These publications will help ensure that learnings from the project are widely disseminated.
Finally, ETIP Ocean 2 will support the coordination of public and private stakeholders. By acting as a bridge to the SET Plan Ocean Energy Working Group, ETIP Ocean 2 will ensure that sectoral activities are aligned with the actions and objectives of the SET Plan Ocean Energy Implementation Plan.
The first half of the ETIP Ocean 2 project saw the publication of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). The SRIA is based on a sector-wide consultation and identifies the most important research and innovation priorities for the years ahead. For the first time, ETIP Ocean highlights the integration of ocean energy pilot farms into the energy system as a priority. This reflects the sector’s readiness to enter the market at a larger scale and underlines ocean energy’s key role as a balancing partner to variable wind and solar power. The SRIA also calls for improvements in sub-systems, marine operations, foundations and connections, which will reduce costs and increase the reliability and yield of ocean energy devices.
The SRIA will serve as a valuable resource for both EU, national and regional policymakers who support ocean energy activities. It helps to ensure the best use of public money, recommending to fund activities with the greatest impact on the sector’s development.
ETIP Ocean 2 accelerates knowledge exchange and allows the sharing of valuable experience, learnings and information from across the ocean energy sector and beyond, through various reports and webinars.
The publicly available reports ensure that learnings from the sector are effectively distributed and clearly communicated to a wider audience. They gathered experiences and recommendations from a large number of ocean energy professionals, representing the interests of the whole European ocean energy sector. These activities confirmed that in order to support and accelerate ocean energy development, the sector needs earmarked revenue support, ambitious national targets and continued support for research and development.
The ETIP Ocean webinars reinforce the collaboration and knowledge-sharing among sectoral stakeholders. They allow ocean energy professionals to present results from their projects to their peers, ensuring a wider dissemination of results and ultimately preventing duplication of efforts. The webinars covered a wide range of topics on technology, finance and environmental research & consenting.
The ETIP Ocean 2 project takes a truly whole-sector approach. A diverse range of stakeholders has been actively engaged throughout. Key actors from industry, research, academia, government and civil society bring their experience and expertise to all stages of the project. ETIP Ocean 2 has expanded the existing ETIP Ocean platform through which stakeholders collaborate and share knowledge. In this way, ETIP Ocean 2 deepens the ETIP Ocean’s model of structured knowledge exchange targeted at accelerating the growth of the ocean energy sector. The ETIP Ocean mailing list has been doubled from ca. 500 to 1,095 contacts (at the time of writing).
Sharing of knowledge and learnings prevents mistakes being repeated, allows important discoveries to be shared, and allows best use of both public and private resources. By focusing on facilitating collaboration and knowledge-exchange between key stakeholders in the sector, optimal methods of overcoming barriers will be identified, contributing to accelerated sector development and, in turn, allowing the realisation of ocean energy’s potential in terms of economic growth, job creation and emissions reductions.
ETIP Ocean 2 recognises that the future of the ocean energy sector is inherently linked to policy formulation. A number of individual decisions across different policy fields will collectively determine whether the sector reaches commercial roll out or not. These policy fields are diverse, spanning areas such as electricity market design, research and innovation policy, consenting and maritime spatial planning rules, State aid, climate action policies and more. These fields also vary spatially, with different jurisdictions impacting policies at a national, EU and international level.
A coherent and informed sector input to these complex policies is essential. ETIP Ocean 2 has identified the policy fields and jurisdictions that are central to the future success of the ocean energy sector. ETIP Ocean 2 then engages with and informs the processes behind those key policy fields, ensuring they best reflect the requirements of the ocean energy sector.
A competitive advantage of ocean energy will be its negligible social costs upon society – the net impact on society will be overall very positive. In addition to its renewable and non-polluting nature, the profile and location of ocean energy technology will ensure that citizens have limited awareness of its presence during everyday life.
In addition, the scale of the technology will require that a significant degree of manufacturing and assembly takes place close to the resources – i.e. within reach of coastal communities. This will offer employment opportunities that would otherwise not be available locally.
However, further work is needed to explore and understand in more detail exactly how the ocean energy sector and society will interact and so a socio-economic study will be conducted. This work will capture the future direct relationship between society and the ocean energy sector. The study will be published in 2021.
ETIP Ocean 2 directly supports the realisation of the Implementation Plan via the OceanSET project. The perspectives and information of ocean energy industry players and the research community are distilled and fed into the execution work. ETIP Ocean 2 also ensures that the objectives and activities of the Implementation Plan are transmitted to industry and research communities.