Ocean energy enters European arena

The European Commission has outlined its plans for energy technology.  The new strategy moves away from strict boundaries towards a more free-flowing whole system approach.

Ocean energy hasn’t had much traction in EU energy policy and SNP MEP Alyn Smith and others have been pressing for it to get the attention it deserves.  The Commission has made it clear, however, that ocean energy won’t be added but that the overall package will be less segmented to take advantage of the synergies between sectors.

Speaking in Edinburgh, Alyn said:

"This is clearly not the result I was hoping for but there is some movement and I’ll keep an eye on things to see how it develops.  If the Commission's new approach works we will be in a better position to respond to the rapid development in low carbon energy technologies.  I’m waiting and watching.

"I'm delighted, though, that ocean energy was acknowledged by the Commission as a promising sector. This is a good foundation that we have to build on and I'll continue to support the ocean energy sector.

"The SET Plan is 6 years old and our energy landscape has evolved. The plan was very much 2020-focused and we must now look beyond 2020 and work together to achieve Europe-wide results.  We need to help the industry bridge the gap between technology development and the market.

"The opportunities that Horizon 2020, the EU's new funding programme for research and innovation, offers for low carbon energy technologies are vast. This connection is essential in ensuring that we get products to market and we need to take advantage of it."