Ocean Renewable Energy

  • Ocean renewable energy – offshore wind, tidal, wave, floating solar, salinity gradient and ocean thermal energy – is starting to play an increasing and significant role in mitigating global climate change.
  • Today's offshore wind market doesn't even come close to its future potential, which could be 420, 000 TWh per year worldwide.
  • Making ocean renewable energy a key part of energy policy will support the greenhouse gas emission reductions needed by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets. 
  • Social licensing, financing, infrastructure, technology, and lack of global standards, have all been recognized as barriers preventing the development of offshore wind.

Key facts 

What are the Key Actions to Deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals? 

  • Align policy with clear and targeted strategies: Concepts such as Integrated Ocean Management and Marine Spatial Planning can place offshore renewable energy at the centre of long-term strategic planning. 
  • Target market conditions and economic incentives: Strong public-private partnerships can help create the right market conditions to encourage the rapid development of offshore wind projects. 
  • Financial mechanisms: As more investors recognize the potential of offshore wind as investments in line with the Paris Agreement, blue bonds could help support filling the financial gaps. 

What is the Action Platform doing this year? 

  • Developing a stakeholder engagement guidance for Marine Spatial Planning for ocean renewable energy, with focus on the private sector. 
  • Working towards increasing the standardization of the industry through establishing global certifications and the KPIs needed for blue investment. 

Resources:

  • Ocean Stewardship 2030 (2020) Chapter 3: Harnessing Ocean Electricity
  • IRENA, 2014. Ocean energy: Technology readiness, patents, deployment status and outlook. Mofor, L., Goldsmith, J., Jones, F. International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi. www.irena.org/publications.
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