Scotland’s fledgling wave energy sector risks being financially marooned if dragged out of EU by ‘full British Brexit’

wave-power-general2-hwuA new finance ‘navigation-map’ for the European ocean energy industry to plot a path to funding for new marine energy project has been delivered to the EU Commission.

The EU Commission requested the ‘map’ be drawn up by Ocean Energy Europe – which is holding its annual industry exhibition today in Brussels.

The navigation map identifies the challenges facing the sector on its path to commercial readiness and puts forward four solutions to overcome them.

However, Scotland will be left ‘map-less’ if it is dragged out of the EU when, or if, the UK implements the result of the referendum vote in favour of British Independence from the EU-bloc – despite having the biggest marine energy raw resource in Europe.

Ocean energy represents a significant opportunity for Europe with the creation a new, clean, indigenous, industry which could provide 10% of Europe’s electricity and 400, 000 EU jobs by 2050.

Remi Gruet
Remi Gruet

Rémi Gruet, Chief Executive, Ocean Energy Europe, said: “Access to capital is the main challenge facing innovative sectors, especially in the demonstration phase, when investment needs increase and returns are not yet proven.

“Yet demonstration is the pre-requisite to turning innovative technology into a new global industry capable of meeting a significant part of our electricity consumption.
 
“Bridging the gap between risk-averse commercial lenders and public authorities with limited budgets requires re-thinking project finance. The financial navigation map proposes just that, solutions fit for the purpose of reducing risk and unlocking capital: milestone-bound grant awards, guarantees and insurance.

“These, will allow projects to go in the water, speed up learnings and get the ocean energy sector to commercial readiness.

“The Commission asked us to come up with a plan for commercialising ocean energy in Europe, and the sector has delivered. We are now in discussions with the Commission, the EIB and Member States on implementing this plan in the near term.

“As the ocean itself, the ocean energy market reaches well beyond EU borders, and our technology leadership means we can dominate those export markets. The opportunity is real and Europe needs to seize it with both hands”.

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