Ocean energy development is a crucial milestone for the decarbonization of offshore activities, coastal communities and remote islands. According to the World Energy Outlook 2019, fossil sources are still largely used for energy consumption (31% oil, 27% coal, 23% gas). Also in the production of electricity, the main sources are coal (38%), gas (23%) and hydroelectric (16%). Wind power represents 5% and solar photovoltaics only 2%. It’s a long road to global energy conversion. Huwever, in this scenario, energy from the sea could play a fundamental role in the ongoing ecological transition.
Waves represent in fact the largest unused renewable source in the world. First, waves feature extremely high energy density. Second, they boast high predictability and low variability. And thus they represent a very promising energy source for the future, suitable for the decarbonisation of offshore processes. And given our experience with the ISWEC technology, today our team eagerly supports private and public clients for ocean energy projects needs.
According to the Sustainable Development Agenda, by 2030, up to 40% of the EU’s energy and 80% of electricity should come from renewable sources. And thus: “Ocean energy technologies will make a significant contribution to the European energy system and industry”. As stated by the European Commission.
Europe holds a strong global position in the field of ocean energy. And several industry surveys estimate the potential exploitation of 100 GW from tides and waves in the coming decades. An amount equivalent to about 10% of the continent’s current electricity consumption.
Marine Energy in Italy
According to the European project OceanSET 2020, Italy ranks among the first countries for public funding towards ocean energy. In particular it ranks first among Mediterranean countries and second in all of Europe, after the United Kingdom. With other 5 countries, Italy virtuously adopted specific policies for the utilisation of this resource.
The highest potential for wave energy is in the western coasts of Sardinia and Corsica. However, the Sicily Channel and the coastal areas of Algeria and Tunisia have considerable average energy flow of 10-13 kW/m. In the Strait of Messina the extraction of energy from tides could reach 125 GWh/year. Whereas such an amount sufficient to meet the energy needs of the entire city of Messina. As in fact the available currents in the Strait reach speeds higher than 2 meters per second.