New innovative services and goods based on artificial intelligence, next-generation robotics, autonomy, digitization, and electrification are taking root in the ocean economy. More typical competitive forces, such as value enhancement and safety improvement, are also present, as suppliers constantly strive to improve their competitive positioning. Concurrently, the Oil and Gas sector is experiencing mounting pressure to decrease its operational carbon emissions, forcing efforts to reduce or eliminate liquid fuel consumption offshore.
Companies in the ocean economy are having to react to this combination of macro- and micro-level drivers and innovate at an ever more rapid pace. However, before many of these new capabilities can be implemented, new, clean, reliable power sources are needed, especially as liquid fuel grows increasingly out of favor. For many of these loads—both old and new and ranging from watts to megawatts—wave energy systems provide the best solution for remote power generation. As such, research, development and demonstration activities are underway to prove wave energy's ability to provide reliable, consistent energy supplies for certain offshore Oil and Gas activities, paving the way for near term commercialization. This paper outlines these drivers, competitive reaction to them, and why and how wave energy can be a preferable choice for power at sea.