The pathway from early-stage technology to commercial exploitation requires a varying mix of support and guidance, from public sector funding through various types of private investment. The goals of these supporters are wide ranging, from socio-economic growth and domestic infrastructure requirements, through to pure financial gain. Despite the differing objectives of these parties, consensus among them on the development path and the fundamental characteristics of an attractive technology enables the support provision to operate more efficiently and with a higher likelihood of success.
Like more mature sectors, the ocean energy sector has a growing body of a guidance and support provision, designed to promote and accelerate commercial exploitation of prospective technologies. As the interests and objectives of stakeholders evolve along the development pathway, so does the guidance required to support the sector’s passage – from early-stage conceptualisation to commercial readiness.
This article discusses four such sources of guidance and is written by the providers who are collaborating to ensure they deliver a complementary and coherent set of recommendations. By sharing this collaboration, IEAOES, IEC TC 114 and IECRE intend to promote the value of each source of guidance and to illustrate how they complement each another.
At the highest-level, the function of the four sources of guidance are:
- IEA-OES Framework ‒ Helping funders select the most promising technologies by agreeing what development activities and key evaluation parameters they should expect from developers.
- IEC Technical Specifications ‒ Helping developers advance their technologies correctly by detailing how activities and evaluations are carried out.
- ISO/IEC Certification Bodies and Test Laboratories ‒ Helping developers test and verify their achievements by adhering to standards and confirming results.
- IECRE System ‒ Underpinning technical quality by assessing conformity against standards.