The global ocean energy market will reach 350 gigawatts (GW) by 2050, but public financing must be designed to give positive long-term signals to private investors to leverage more investment in the sector, a joint study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) found. 

Ocean energy is one of the technologies that must be scaled up for the energy system to reach full decarbonisation, the joint report, titled ‘Scaling up investments in ocean energy technologies’ said.

“To reach appropriate volumes and facilitate cost reductions - at industrial deployment scale - ocean energy will need to develop utility-scale projects connected to main electricity grids,” the report said.

Additionally, ocean energy needs clear signals from governments to provide visibility about the future market to private investors, similar to how wind and solar energy were brought to market.

“This requires coupling a supportive financial framework with a supportive policy framework,” it added.

The report said there is a need to scale up investments in tidal stream and wave technologies, as these ocean energy technologies are closest to reaching maturity and have a greater application potential globally.

Ocean energy can create 680 000 direct jobs globally by 2050.

Many of these jobs will be local and situated close to the corresponding resource and may serve to support coastal communities that have been engaged historically in the shipbuilding and oil and gas industries.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)