Europe’s ocean energy installations surge back to pre-Covid levels

Good News Notes:

“European installations of tidal and wave energy capacity jumped in 2021, as the ocean energy sector saw deployments revert to pre-pandemic levels and a substantial increase in investment.

In figures released Thursday, Ocean Energy Europe said 2.2 megawatts of tidal stream capacity was installed in Europe last year, compared to just 260 kilowatts in 2020. For wave energy, 681 kW was installed, which OEE said was a threefold increase.

Globally, 1.38 MW of wave energy came online in 2021, while 3.12 MW of tidal stream capacity was installed. Capacity refers to the maximum amount of electricity installations can produce, not what they’re necessarily generating.

Overall, 11.5 MW of tidal stream installations are now in European waters, with the figure for wave energy coming in at 1.4 MW. Investment in the ocean energy sector hit 70 million euros ($76.8 million) last year. OEE, a Brussels-based trade association, said this represented a 50% increase compared to 2020.

“Developing new decarbonised, indigenous and affordable energy sources is not a luxury – it is a necessity,” Remi Gruet, the Ocean Energy Europe CEO, said in a statement.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, has laid out targets for the capacity of ocean energy technologies such as wave and tidal to reach 100 MW in the EU by 2025 and roughly 1 gigawatt by 2030. Given the current level of installations, achieving this goal represents a big challenge.

“The EU must kick-start its offshore renewables strategy now, and empower ocean energy to deliver energy independence and decarbonisation as part of a diverse set of renewables,” OEE’s Gruet said….”

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