Ocean energy is still in its infancy, compared to more established renewables technologies like offshore wind. But the European Commission is convinced that these types of energy – tidal, wave, salinity and thermal – have a lot to offer: not only in helping Europe meet its climate ambitions, but also in stimulating investment and economic growth, a key priority of the Juncker Commission.
The Ocean Energy Forum, set up by the European Commission in 2014, brings together industry and the public sector to pool resources and address uncertainties surrounding issues like financing or planning and consenting. The Forum is preparing an "Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap" – a blueprint for the ocean energy sector and the basis for more specific action plans. A first draft was presented in Dublin in October, and the Forum aims to complete the roadmap by spring this year. Commissioner Vella therefore urged conference-goers to take part in the discussions at the Forum's meeting in Edinburgh this week.