Statistics published today by Ocean Energy Europe show a positive rebound for the sector following Covid-19 disruptions.
Ocean energy deployments returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, with Europe installing three times as much wave energy and more than ten times the tidal energy capacity witnessed in 2020.
A slew of new investments by public authorities and industrial players have provided further ballast.
The Key trends and statistics 2021 report shows the maturing of ocean energy into a strong and adaptable sector, proving its technological and investment viability credentials.
The pan European network, which CorPower CEO Patrik Moller supports as this term’s co-president, predicts new capacity for Europe to remain steady throughout 2022.
CorPower’s own HiWave-5 Project is one such initiative adding to the mix, with commercial-scale deployment scheduled in northern Portugal later this year.
As Europe still dominates global tidal stream activity, larger volumes of wave capacity continue to be installed outside of the continent, often driven by significant government support.
Looking at specific figures for 2021, both wave and tidal energy added 1.39 MW and 3.12 MW respectively worldwide. The sector has attracted involvement from GE Renewable Energy, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line), Chubu Electric Power, TechnipFMC and Schneider Electric.
Meanwhile, governments in the UK, Italy, Spain and the USA also committed significant new funding to ocean energy and innovative renewables.
Global cumulative capacity additions are now approaching 65 MW since 2010, with new deployments hitting the water all European sea basins, Asia, Australasia, and North and South America.
While the statistics make for a positive backdrop entering the second quarter of 2022, OEE – which represents the largest network of ocean energy professionals in the world – is continuing calls for the EU to kick-start its Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy.
Despite having set a clear target for 2025, it fears the strategy is not accelerating large-scale deployments as anticipated, in order to fully unleash the sector and provide energy independence and decarbonisation as part of a diverse set of renewables.