The ‘Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap’, produced by the Ocean Energy Forum, was recently launched to identify the challenges facing the sector on its path to commercial readiness and to identify solutions to overcome them. It is widely acknowledged that building an ocean energy industry in Europe will require innovative financing tools to channel public and private investment in the most efficient way. Ocean Energy Europe Co-Presidents Thierry Kalanquin (DCNS) and Simon de Pietro (DP Energy) handed the Roadmap to Karmenu Vella (European Commissioner for Environment, Fisheries & Maritime Affairs) at the conference. Commissioner Vella expressed his political support for the roadmap, and will now work with the sector to implement the innovative finance solutions presented.
Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, commented: “Access to capital is the main challenge facing innovative sectors, especially in the demonstration phase when investment needs increase and returns are not yet proven. Yet demonstration is the pre-requisite to turning innovative technology into a new global industry capable of meeting a significant part of our electricity consumption. Bridging the gap between risk-averse commercial lenders and public authorities with limited budgets requires re-thinking project finance. The Roadmap proposes just that, solutions fit for the purpose of reducing risk and unlocking capital: milestone-bound grant awards, guarantees and insurance. These, will allow projects to go in the water, speed up learnings and get the ocean energy sector to commercial readiness.”
“The Commission asked us to come up with a plan for commercialising ocean energy in Europe, and the sector has delivered. We are now in discussions with the Commission, the EIB (European Investment Bank) and Member States on implementing this plan in the near term. Ocean energy represents a significant opportunity for Europe: the creation a new, clean, indigenous, industry which could provide 10% of Europe’s electricity and 400 000 EU jobs by 2050. As the ocean itself, the ocean energy market reaches well beyond EU borders, and our technology leadership means we can dominate those export markets. The opportunity is real and Europe needs to seize it with both hands.”
The report is available to read here: Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap