Ocean energy saw increased investment and installations in 2021

Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash

Deployments of ocean energy devices are back to pre-pandemic levels, with Europe installing over 10 times as much tidal energy capacity and three times as much wave energy capacity in 2021 as compared with 2020, Ocean Energy Europe reports.

The report is titled “Ocean Energy: Key trends and statistics 2021.” It says investment interest in the sector also rose, with a slew of announcements by large industrial players and public authorities. Ocean Energy Europe’s data shows that ocean energy is back on track, despite COVID-19 restrictions still affecting activity in 2021.

Both the wave and tidal energy sectors installed significantly more capacity in 2021 than the previous year, adding 1.39 MW and 3.12 MW, respectively, worldwide. While Europe still dominates global tidal stream activity, more and more wave capacity is being installed outside Europe, often driven by significant government support.

An increase in private investment and the entrance of important industrial players into the sector reflect the growing appeal of ocean energy to investors, power producers and manufacturers. In 2021, the sector signed deals with GE Renewable Energy, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), Chubu Electric Power, TechnipFMC and Schneider Electric. Governments in the UK, Italy, Spain and the U.S. also committed significant new funding to ocean energy.

Machines hit the water across all European sea basins, as well as in Asia, Australasia, North America and South America, bringing global cumulative capacity additions to nearly 65 MW since 2010.

New capacity projections for Europe in 2022 remain steady but conspicuously muted when compared to the EU’s objectives for ocean energy. Despite having set a clear target for 2025, the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy is still not accelerating large-scale deployments as anticipated, Ocean Energy Europe said.

“Developing new decarbonized, indigenous and affordable energy sources is not a luxury – it is a necessity,” said Remi Gruet, chief executive officer of Ocean Energy Europe. “The EU must kick-start its offshore renewables strategy now and empower ocean energy to deliver energy independence and decarbonization as part of a diverse set of renewables. The figures from 2021 reflect a strong, adaptable sector, and show that ocean energy is proving itself, both technologically and as an investment.”

Ocean Energy Europe is a network of ocean energy professionals, representing more than 120 organizations, including utilities, industrialists and research institutes.

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