"Tidal and wave energy are making huge strides. Some say that harvesting just 0.1% of the energy contained in waves could power the entire world 5 times over! With the economic potential to match: the market opportunities could be worth around 535 billion euros until 2050," Commissioner Vella said at the third annual Offshore Energy and Storage conference in Malta.

Yet he also underlined some of the obstacles that such ocean energy projects are facing: most notably in raising capital, convincing investors, and turning a bright initial idea into a viable business.

To remove such obstacles and support these new forms of ocean energy, the European Commission in 2014 set up an Ocean Energy Forum. This collaborative roundtable for industry and policymakers is currently working out how to develop ocean energy in Europe in the years to come. The resulting plan, an "ocean energy strategic roadmap", is due by the end of the year.

In the meantime, the Commission is stepping up its financial support and considering new innovative financing mechanisms for renewable ocean energy projects. It already supports ocean energy projects through a variety of existing funds and programmes, and is currently exploring the possibility of setting up a specific investment platform for ocean energy under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), together with the European Investment Bank.

Source: EU Commission