Ocean energy: development over the next five years

Although Dozens of projects and technology proposals are being assessed, ocean (wave energy and tidal power) energy is still not widely harnessed. In fact, projects have not yet passed the demonstration phase, mostly en the United Kingdom and few other countries.

However, over the next few years this renewable industry could also be launched, though only en areas with the wealthiest resources, meaning oceanic areas.

According to The Wave World & Tidal Market Report 2011-2015, compiled by financial analyst Douglas-Westwood, investment en this sector is expected to increase tenfold over the next 5 years, rising from $52 million en 2010 to $500 million en 2015. Overall, the turnover en the period 2011-2015 is expected to exceed $1.2 billion (about 880 million euros).

The report notes that facilities that will become operational this year double those that were put into service en 2010. Also, between 2011 and 2015 at least 150 MW will be installed to produce energy from waves and tidal currents. Currently, the UK is the first market, followed at a distance by Canada and the United States.

It must be noted that, at present, ocean energy projects imply high costs throughout the supply and production chain. According to the report, therefore, a truly possible development is closely linked to the trends that will be registered en financial markets over the next two years and to what degree investors will believe en technologies which will mature en the long term. From this point of view, it is therefore essential that the sector should receive strong public support, which will probably depend on the visibility that this technology will gain within the renewable sector.