The amount of ocean energy that is available globally is more than the present and projected future energy needs. Ocean energy has the potential to contribute to long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. The European Commission Communications on Blue Energy identified the highest potential for the development of ocean energy in the EU is on the Atlantic seaboard. Using this resource would help to lessen the EU's dependence on fossil fuels. It would also contribute to energy self-sufficiency, particularly for island nations like Ireland.
Ocean Energy Forum
The European Commission has developed a two-step action plan to support this emerging sector. The first phase involved the establishment of an Ocean Energy Forum to bring together stakeholders to develop a shared understanding of the problems and to develop solutions. The focus is on building capacity and critical mass, and on creating cooperation. The outcomes of the Forum has fed into a strategic roadmap which aims to provide an agreed blueprint for action in order to help the ocean energy sector move towards industrialisation.
The 'Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap', produced by the Ocean Energy Forum, was launched in November 2016. It aims to identify the challenges facing the sector on its path to commercial readiness and to identify solutions to overcome them. Building an ocean energy industry in Europe will require innovative financing tools to channel public and private investment in the most efficient way.