Bringing the Ocean to Society
3 Apr 2018
New Ocean Energy Systems Annual Report
The report highlights international collaborative projects advancing ocean energy

The Ocean Energy Systems (OES) Technology Collaboration Programme of the International Energy Agency has published its 2017 Annual Report featuring an assessment of national policies, research and technology demonstration on ocean energy. The report looks at the achievements and progress made by each of the 25 OES members throughout 2017 and gives an overview of their collaborative projects within OES.

The new Annual Report also presents an in-depth interview with Dr Andrea E. Copping from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  Dr Copping is responsible for the OES project on Environmental Issues in Ocean Energy, known as Annex IV, which has been running since 2010. Commenting on the evolving environmental challenges as larger-scale commercial developments are installed, Dr Copping said: “There continues to be challenges in consenting for wave or tidal devices due to concerns over environmental effects. However, we are making strides in better understanding potential effects on marine animals, and we hope to be able to “retire” certain risks in the near future.”
Tethys, the online knowledge management system, supported by OES, provides a wealth of information on ocean energy devices, interactions between marine animals and devices, and access to many researchers and their work. The OES 2017 Annual Report shows how Annex IV is playing a role in supporting the dissemination of information via international conferences and events, focusing on new environmental research and data on interactions among marine animals, their habitats and ocean energy devices.
Other collaborative research efforts discussed in the OES 2017 Annual Report include the work to address the cost of energy for ocean energy technologies, the development of an International Vision for Ocean Energy Deployment and research on validation work for wave energy modelling tools. The OES Web GIS Database for ocean energy projects has also been frequently updated and remains the most popular page of the OES website.
This report reflects the underpinning pivotal benefits of international collaboration, namely the global perspective, knowledge sharing between members and access to advanced innovation teams around the world. This includes the development of a common framework for international stage gate metrics to be used by technology developers, investors and funders.
Mr Henry Jeffrey of the University of Edinburgh, current Chairperson of the OES, said: “2017 has been a landmark year in ocean energy. Cumulative ocean energy capacity has doubled worldwide from less than 12 MW in 2016 to over 25 MW in 2017. We have seen many useful international collaborations develop, particularly between the USA and Europe. However, globally we are still waiting on clear market signals for wave and tidal projects. Such market signals are vital for the industry to progress towards commercialisation.”

To access the report please click here.