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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020
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EU Commission sets out plan to harvest energy from our seas and oceans

Ocean energy – known as ‘blue energy’ – covers all technologies that harvest renewable energy from our seas and oceans other than offshore wind.

A NEW ACTION plan which aims to harvest energy from Europe’s seas and oceans was presented to the European Commission today.

The plan sets out how to facilitate the further development of the renewable ocean energy sector in Europe.

The ‘blue energy’ sector, as it is known, covers all technologies that harvests renewable energy from the seas and oceans other than offshore wind. Its exploitation would contribute to the decarbonisation of the EU’s economy and provide secure and reliable renewable energy to Europe, according to the Commission.

Ocean Energy Forum

A central element to the action plan is to establish an Ocean Energy Forum, bringing together stakeholders to build capacity and foster cooperation.

The EU Commission said that ocean energy resources available around the world exceeds our present and projected future energy needs. They added that wave energy and tidal stream energy could be developed and would set the EU further on track to becoming a low-carbon economy by cutting EU dependence on fossil fuels.

They added that ocean energy could help “to balance out the output of other renewable energy sources such as wind energy and solar energy to ensure a steady aggregate supply of renewable energy to the grid. In addition, ocean energy has the potential to create new, high quality jobs, particularly in Europe’s coastal areas which often suffer from high unemployment”.

Obstacles

However, the Commission was told that the plan does face a number of obstacles, such as high costs, infrastructure barriers and administrative barriers such as licencing.

The European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger said:

Ocean energy has a significant potential to enhance the security of supply. This Communication aims to contribute to promote technological innovation and to reach the Objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and beyond.

Developing a wide portfolio of renewable energy sources including ocean energy also facilitates their integration in the European energy system.

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