Rosie Seldon from NRG Expert reports that the Ocean Energy sector is becoming increasingly interesting as more devices reach the prototype stage and are tested out at sea. The UK government, in particular, is therefore trying to spur on the industry with grants and funding to encourage commercial operations to succeed.
Max Krangle, the Managing Director of NRG Expert states ”Key areas of development appear to be wave energy, tidal energy and marine projects. Considerably more funding has been made available for projects in these areas to help companies take the leap.”
NRG Expert’s Global Ocean Energy Report and market research reveals that Portugal and the UK are the two countries offering the highest grants and subsidies for wave energy projects. The UK government is providing funding for ocean energy projects as it estimates that wave energy and tidal energy have the potential to meet as much as 20 percent of the country’s current electricity demand**. Meanwhile Portugal is offering feed-in tariffs.
NRG Expert’s market research also highlights other countries which are making significant inroads in the ocean energy sector including Australia, the US, New Zealand and Ireland. The report reveals that 2009 was a particularly good year for the ocean energy sector with US $246 million invested in the sector globally.
As well as reviewing funding opportunities in each country, the NRG Expert Global Ocean Energy Report also reviews [ocean technology.
By far the most experimental ocean technology is still the salinity gradient. In November last year Statkraft commissioned a 2 to 4 kW prototype off Tofte near Oslo, Norway. This project is one of the relatively few salinity gradient projects, and is by far the most advanced. However it is still experimental and it is unlikely that this will be a major source of power in the short term.
Interestingly the energy analysts at NRG Expert expect military bases to be a major use of ocean energy. Last year Lockheed Martin, one of the main ocean energy companies involved in OTEC projects, was awarded an US $8 million component supply contract by the US military.
The ocean energy market research report provided by NRG EXPERT includes a full ocean energy analysis, including tidal energy and ocean technology. The report also outlines the key ocean energy statistics, facts and data and ocean energy forecasts.