The EU has unveiled a new plan to increase the development of ocean energy, which it claims could help create up to 20,000 jobs by 2035 in the UK alone.
Also called “blue energy”, it covers all renewable energy at sea, including, wave and tidal but excluding offshore wind.
The plan includes the establishment of an Ocean Energy Forum, which is expected to bring together existing knowledge and expertise and drive the development of the sector forward.
It will explore the interaction with other marine industries, particularly offshore wind, relating to supply chains, grid connection and operations and maintenance. The sector is also expected to help create up to 40,000 temporary jobs in the EU by 2035.
European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger said: “Ocean energy has a significant potential to enhance the security of supply. This Communication aims to contribute to promote technological innovation and to reach the Objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and beyond. Developing a wide portfolio of renewable energy sources including ocean energy also facilitates their integration in the European energy system.”
The EU aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, generate 20% of energy from renewable sources and boost energy efficiency by 20% by the end of the decade as part of its Europe 2020 Strategy.
There are currently 10MW of installed wave and tidal capacity in the EU.