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Industry Vision Paper 2013

On the 24th April 2013, the European Association launched the Vision Paper on the Industrial Strategy presented to the Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels. The event was hosted by Alyn Smith, Scottish MEP and member of the ITRE Committee, at the European Parliament.

Executive Summary

The European Commission has set out a trinity of energy policy goals: our energy supplies must be secure; they must be sustainable and they must underpin Europe’s global competitiveness.

Europe is currently the leader when it comes to exploiting one of the most significant sources of untapped renewable energy globally: energy from the ocean.

Harnessing this unused resource will increase energy security and optimise Europe’s clean power supplies - by increasing system stability and bringing down the overall price of renewable energy. It will drive industrial growth, exports and job creation by revitalising traditional maritime sectors. Ocean energy also has the potential to maximise the value of investments in infrastructure, expertise and equipment in Europe’s oil, gas and off shore wind sectors. Currently 1000 people are directly employed in this sector. Howerver, Europe must maintain its leadership position if it is to secure the full industrial benefits of a manufacturing supply chain that could create 20,000 new jobs by 2035.

Industry investment of over €600m in the last 7 years has triggered significant progress. Over 10MW of ocean-going devices are currently deployed in European waters, including several devices of 1MW and more. In the next 7 years the industry will continue to invest considerable resources to achieve its vision for the sector. The industry goal is to deliver reliable and cost-eff ective electricity from several small ocean energy arrays of up to 10MW from 2015; and for the front-runners to deliver larger-scale projects of up to 50MW by 2020 in preparation for wholesale market roll-out from 2025.

European Ocean Energy Association members all have one thing in common: pioneering a new industrial sector. They believe the key to success will be bringing stakeholders together at the European level to develop a unified strategy for managing three major categories of technical, project and financial and market based risk.

Our members believe that a step change could be catalysed if Europe also sends a strong signal that it is serious about unlocking Europe’s ocean energy potential. This paper sets out a threepoint plan for managing the major risks to growth, and invites the Commission to work with us to develop model policy frameworks aimed at facilitating successful market penetration for ocean energy technologies.

In addition to providing policy support and coordination; we recommend that the Commission commits to an annual ocean energy funding call under Horizon 2020 - this would boost support from Member States under the proposed Ocean European Research Area network (ERA-Net). Finally, we invite the European Investment Bank and the Commission to work with us to develop innovative approaches to reducing investment risk to guarantee investor confidence; and help the sector secure finance for the first, critical projects planned for delivery by 2020.

 

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