National revenue support a must for ocean energy

Dedicated revenue support at national level is essential to attract investment for ocean energy farms, according to a new report from sectoral advisory body ETIP Ocean.

The report ‘Powering Homes Today, Powering Nations Tomorrow’ analyses the challenges faced by the sector on the route to industrial roll-out and proposes four actions to overcome them. Alongside revenue support, a model for ‘blended’ public finance will allow the next round of ocean energy projects to reach financial close.

The report also highlights ocean energy’s recent successes, with record volumes of power being supplied to the grid by tidal stream technology, and several promising scale and full-sized wave devices going into the water. It reiterates ocean energy’s potential of providing 10% of Europe’s current electricity consumption by 2050.

According to the report, the four key actions required are:

*             A European ‘stage-gate’ programme for R&D and prototypes, which ‘funnels’ the most successful innovations, through a series of competitive calls.

*             National-level revenue support earmarked for ocean energy.

*             A blend of programmes to finance demonstration and pre-commercial farms, made up of revenue support, grant funding, public-supported equity, public-guaranteed loans, and an Insurance & Guarantee Fund.

*             Environmental monitoring programmes that produce comparable and consistent data.

By Jake Frith

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