EU’s offshore strategy must move up a gear, says Ocean Energy Europe

Ocean energy

Time is running out for the EU to meet its 100 MW ocean energy deployment target by 2025 – but it is not too late, according to a new report published by Ocean Energy Europe (OEE)

The report, ‘Last Stop to 2025: A 2022 Action Plan to deliver on the Offshore Strategy’s Ocean Energy Target‘ states that if secure, decarbonised and affordable energy is a top EU priority, it should be reflected in the timely implementation of its Offshore Renewables Strategy.

Governments around the world have recently stepped up the development of ocean energy, via revenue support in the UK and Canada, a €500 million package in the US, and deployment plans in China’s 5-Year Plan. Europe, however, has not matched the pace and risks losing its competitive advantage. More than enough European ocean energy projects are lined up – just a few crucial funding and coordination actions are needed to get them in the water.

Although implementation of the Strategy has been sluggish to date, the good news is that its targets can still be achieved. The report’s action plan focuses on using existing tools and processes, namely improving the funding available to ocean energy, making it easier to access, and improving coordination with Member States, as promised in the Strategy.

Programmes such as Horizon Europe, Innovation Fund and the successor to InnovFin EDP should be leveraged to get pilot farms in the water. The EU also has the power to encourage the inclusion of ocean energy projects in new National Energy & Climate Plans, to align sea basin planning to enable ocean energy projects, and to organise meetings amongst relevant civil servants at both European and national levels.

Remi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, called on the EU institutions to make sure the Strategy’s promises are kept: “Ocean energy targets in the Offshore Strategy are exactly what Europe needs right now – it is clean and home-grown, and can create hundreds of thousands of jobs. But implementation is just as important. If Europe wants to stay out in front, it needs to act now. This report provides a clear ‘To-Do List’ to achieve this without re-inventing the wheel.”

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