IEA-OES is a Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) on Ocean Energy Systems within a framework created by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The TCP mechanism is a flexible and effective means created by the IEA to research breakthrough technologies, to fill existing research gaps, to carry out deployment or demonstration programmes – in short to encourage technology-related activities in line with the IEA shared goals of energy security, environmental protection and economic growth, as well as engagement worldwide. Today, there are about 40 TCPs working in the areas of:
- Cross-Cutting Activities (information exchange, modelling, technology transfer)
- End-Use (buildings, electricity, industry, transport)
- Fossil Fuels (greenhouse-gas mitigation, supply, transformation)
- Fusion Power (international experiments)
- Renewable Energies and Hydrogen (technologies and deployment)
Each of these areas are overseen by specialised Working Parties that report to the Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT), the main IEA body promoting the development, demonstration and deployment of technologies to meet challenges in the energy sector. The IEA-OES report to the Renewable Energy Working Party (REWP).
Work is funded by participants, and there is a close cooperation with the IEA-secretariat in Paris, which also provides a legal framework. The IEA offers clear rules for engagement and equitable sharing of rights and obligations, but also flexibility to adjust to evolving needs and interests of the Participants in TCPs. TCPs are managed by an Executive Committee (ExCo).
The work of the IEA-OES covers all forms of energy generation in which sea water forms the motive power through its physical and chemical properties, i.e. wave, tidal range, tidal and ocean currents, ocean thermal energy conversion and salinity gradients. IEA-OES connects organisations and individuals working in the ocean energy sector to accelerate the viability, uptake and acceptance of ocean energy systems in an environmentally acceptable manner.
As of December 2022, 21 Member Countries and the European Commission are members of the IEA-OES, providing a broad international base of information, sharing experience and knowledge and further a diversified representation of interests: members are from governmental departments, utilities, universities and research organizations, energy agencies and industry associations. This is one of the benefits of joining OES: participants gain an international perspective on ocean energy issues, opportunities and present challenges.
The twenty-two active members are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, European Commission, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, India, Ireland, Italy, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America. In 2022, SIDS DOCK, representing 32 small islands and low-lying developing states across the globe, was invited as Observer.
The OES international co-operation facilitates:
- Securing access to advanced R&D teams in the participating countries;
- Developing a harmonized set of measures and testing protocols for the testing of prototypes;
- Reducing national costs by collaborating internationally;
- Creating valuable international contacts between government, industry and science;
- Sharing information and networking.
This Annual Report showcases the key achievements and recent outcomes of the IEA-OES collaborative efforts on a global scale, as well as updates on ocean energy policy, research, and deployment advancements in all participating countries.