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European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy

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

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-12-31

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. This flexible, predictable and abundant European resource 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 were 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 were achieved by reinforcing collaboration and knowledge-sharing among sectoral stakeholders. Based upon these exchanges, a series of accessible and information-based studies and reports were released. These publications help ensure that learnings from the project are widely disseminated.
Finally, ETIP Ocean 2 supported the coordination of public and private stakeholders. By acting as a bridge to the SET Plan Ocean Energy Working Group, ETIP Ocean 2 ensured that sectoral activities are aligned with the actions and objectives of the SET Plan Ocean Energy Implementation Plan.
During the second reporting period, the ETIP Ocean 2 project produced reports quantifying and discussing the future value of the ocean energy sector to Europe in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) and the socioeconomic benefit. These reports fed into the Ocean Energy Roadmap that was published at the end of the project. Other reports on environmental impacts, consenting and engagement with the SET Plan IWG were also published and disseminated.
These publicly available reports, accessible on the project website, 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. The key reports were disseminated through the mailing list, social media or direct mailings to key policymakers. These were also launched in high-profile sectoral events to increase dissemination and exploitation.
The ETIP Ocean webinars reinforced 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 reached nearly 1200 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 identified the policy fields and jurisdictions that are central to the future success of the ocean energy sector. ETIP Ocean 2 then engaged with and informed 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.
The socioeconomic study explored in more detail exactly how the ocean energy sector and society will interact. This work captured the future direct relationship between society, focusing on regions, and the ocean energy sector.
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 were distilled and fed into the execution work. ETIP Ocean 2 also ensured that the objectives and activities of the Implementation Plan are transmitted to industry and research communities.