The EU is aiming to develop a reliable and secure source of renewable energy by setting up an Ocean Energy Forum.
The European Commission has unveiled an action plan to help harvest more renewable energy from Europe’s seas and oceans.
The plan aims to boost this emerging “blue energy” sector - which includes technologies that can capture the energy from waves, tides and temperature variations in the water – by bringing together knowledge and expertise under a new Ocean Energy Forum.
The aim is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and make Europe’s energy supplies more secure by creating a stable source of renewable energy in the region. This could be used in conjunction with other renewable sources such as wind and solar power.
According to the European Commission, oceans and seas globally have sufficient energy potential to cover our current and projected energy needs.
There are significant challenges in harnessing this potential, however, such as high technology costs and complex licensing rules.
The Ocean Energy Forum will aim to address some of these challenges. It is hoped that supporting the blue energy sector could not only provide a secure source of power, but also benefit the environment, create jobs – particularly in coastal areas – and generate economic growth.