IRENA-OEE report: Scaling up investments in ocean energy technologies
Public financing of ocean energy must be designed to create a ‘pull’ for private investment in a global market that could reach 350 Gigawatts by 2050, says a new report co-authored by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Ocean Energy Europe (OEE). By making sure funding instruments are adapted to meet the sector’s needs, governments around the world can leverage private financing, speed up technological development and drive down costs.
As many ocean energy developers prepare for commercialisation, revenue support that provides a fixed electricity price over the longer-term, is the best tool to give investors market visibility and secure the returns they expect.
For technologies at earlier stages, a different approach is needed. Pre-commercial demonstration projects benefit from ‘blended’ financing models, where public funding leverages private money, whilst for prototypes, R&D grants are still the most effective mechanism.
A fit-for-purpose financial framework must be complemented by a supportive policy and regulatory environment. Among the recommended policy actions, the report highlights national deployment targets as being hugely important in giving clear long-term signals to investors.
Ocean energy is one of the technologies that must be scaled up for the energy system to reach full decarbonisation and achieve energy security. The report estimates that ocean energy can create 680,000 direct jobs globally by 2050 and provide clean, local and predictable electricity to communities worldwide.
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