Progress in the wave and tidal energy sector by 2020 will be determined by political will to support technology development, according to a study by the Strategic Initiative for Ocean Energy project.
The Wave & Tidal Energy Strategic Technology Agenda reports that progress hinges on overcoming barriers to technological progression, finding the right the balance of co-operation and competition, and on the availability of specific funds and policies to support the sector’s growth.
The paper produced by three SI Ocean partners – the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the University of Edinburgh and The Carbon Trust – provides a review of the current technological and economic trends in the wave and tidal energy sectors and summarises the issues hindering development.
It identifies a number of mechanisms, under a two-pronged strategy of ‘technological development’ and ‘deployment & risk reduction’, which would drive the sector forward towards full-scale commercialisation and competitiveness with other energy sources
These mechanisms focus on demonstrating existing technologies and developing technological solutions for the future.
“With the correct level of policies and support in place, ocean energy can become a big European success story over the next decade; the Strategic Technology Agenda has just put forward a very strong argument in support of this,” said Sian George, chair of the SI Ocean Advisory Board and chief executive of Ocean Energy Europe.
“The report has been widely welcomed by the industry and will be used as an important building block by TIP Ocean (the Technology & Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy) and the Ocean Energy Forum,” concluded George.