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Oceans and fisheries

Marine renewable energy

The EU has the largest sea space in the world, which will increasingly be used to generate clean, renewable energy. This will be mostly offshore wind energy, but also energy from wind, waves, tides, salinity gradient and even algae (biofuel).

The technology to transform these sources of energy into electricity is developing fast and marine renewables could become the main source of energy in the EU by 2050.

Objectives

In November 2020, the European Commission issued a strategy to harness the potential of offshore renewable energy. This strategy maps out a path to replace fossil fuels by offshore renewables, creating industrial opportunities and green jobs across the continent. The marine renewables industry will need to scale up 5 times by 2030 and 25 times by 2050 to support the Green Deal’s objectives. The European Commission has committed to support the value chain investing in those developments and keeps track of the progress made.

Producing electricity from the sea is compatible with the goals of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and can happen in parallel with other activities such as fishing and aquaculture. Implementing the maritime spatial planning directive is essential to anticipate changes, avoid conflicts and find synergies between various activities at sea.

Actions

The European Commission facilitates cross-border cooperation and exchange of good practices on the issues of maritime spatial planning and marine renewables, notably via the North Sea Energy Cooperation and the different sea basin strategies.

The main sources of EU funding instruments available for EU countries to support their marine renewables sector are: InvestEU, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Connecting Europe Facility, Horizon Europe and all the structural and regional funds which now have ring-fenced amounts to support the Green Deal objectives.

The European Maritime and Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund supports marine renewable energy projects and spatial planning activities to enable the sector to develop smoothly and in harmony with nature and other sectors.

Media

Euronews Ocean: What will the future of energy in Europe look like?

Euronews Ocean: Harnessing the power of our oceans