IRENA report 'Innovation Outlook: Ocean Energy Technologies'

IRENA report 'Innovation Outlook: Ocean Energy Technologies'
IRENA Innovation Outlook Ocean Energy 2020 1 1

 

Progress in tidal and wave energy technologies is accelerating, with lower LCOE than previously estimated, says a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Innovation Outlook: Ocean Energy Technologies examines the potential and state of the ocean energy sector and proposes actions for commercialisation.

The report estimates that up to 10 GW of wave and tidal stream energy could be deployed globally by 2030. Current operational capacity is now at 2.31 MW of wave and 10.6 MW of tidal stream, with several tidal pilot farms in the pipeline. Most of these deployments and more than half of planned projects are in Europe, showing the European lead in the sector. For other ocean energy technologies - OTEC, salinity gradient and ocean current - the report predicts picking up at the end of the decade.

To reach commercialisation, the report proposes actions that help bring down the costs and increase access to finance. As costs are still high due to the first-of-a-kind nature of these technologies, capital and revenue should be supported with adequate financing mechanisms. To secure funding, risks can be mitigated with standardisation, stage-gate metrics and marine spatial planning. Including ocean energy targets in national energy and climate plans would also show investors that there is a market for ocean energy.

You can read the full report here.