Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella has restated EU’s commitment to ocean energy during a meeting with 20 leading companies operating in the ocean energy sector in various parts of Europe.
On March 27, 2018, Europe’s ocean energy industry gathered in Brussels to set the strategy for commercializing ocean energy in Europe, the industry body representing the sector Ocean Energy Europe said.
A strong supporter of renewable forms of energy ‘made in Europe’, the Commissioner Vella reaffirmed his belief that by 2030 the oceans could provide energy to millions of Europeans, and his ambition to consolidate and expand EU’s position as a world leader in ocean energy.
Commissioner Vella also reassured the companies that oceans are bound to remain a priority also in the next generation of EU-funds after 2020, according to the European Commission,
It has been noted however that Member States should take leadership in this area and cooperate with the European Commission to create stable conditions for the sector to find its route to market.
“Excellent engagement with Commissioner Karmenu Vella today. Strong commitment from the highest levels of the Commission to building an ocean energy industry in Europe,” Ocean Energy Europe commented through social media, quoting Commissioner Vella who said: “We have objectives, and we are committed to working with the industry to achieve them.”
There is however still a long way ahead before the commercialization of ocean energy sector, and the Commission is taking several measures to lighten the investment and risk burden for developers, including setting up a business-investors matchmaking event for the blue economy called BlueInvest that will be held in Brussels on May 17, 2018.
Also, the Commission has established financing platforms such as the InnovFin Energy Demo Project and targeted support for innovating SMEs, and provided help to the European regions to invest in technological developments, test centers and port infrastructures.
The Commission added it supported 17 projects since 2014, generating a total investment of some €270 million.
“This has helped to increase reliability and performance and will eventually reduce costs,” the Commission said.