Oceans and seas have the potential to play a significant role in providing clean energy. Different technologies are currently being developed to ensure a long-term contribution of ocean energy to the future energy system. Among the different ocean energy technologies, tidal and wave conversion systems are expected to contribute the most to the European energy system in the short to medium term, due to both local availability of the resources and advanced technological status. Current projections foresee about 40 MW of tidal and 26 MW of wave energy capacity being installed by 2018.
The sector has witnessed encouraging signals both on the policy side and on projected markets; however, the commercialisation of key technologies and their technical maturity have not progressed as expected. In 2014, the European Commission reinforced its support and commitment to the development of ocean energy through a dedicated policy framework, and its inclusion in both the blue growth agenda and the 2050 energy agenda. This report stems from the need to monitor the evolution of ocean energy technology, industry and market in Europe, with an eye on their global development. It aims to portray the state of play of the sector, key achievements and mechanisms in place to overcome documented gaps and barriers in the sector towards commercialisation.