European Commission announces ocean energy action plan
The European Commission has announced an ocean energy action plan in European seas and oceans by 2020 and beyond. As part of the two-step action plan, the European Commission will set up an Ocean Energy Forum, a lead body to guide EU support for research and innovation in ocean energy. It will bring together EU officials, industry experts, academics and other stakeholders to serve this purpose and facilitate commercialisation of the ocean energy sector. The next step would be a strategic roadmap taking the forum’s findings into consideration while setting out clear targets for the sector’s industrial development, including a timeframe for their achievement, by 2016. Member states, NGOs, industry as well as regional authorities will all be able to contribute to the elaboration of the roadmap. The communication’s impact assessment estimates that ocean energy has the potential to create up to 14,000 temporary jobs and between 10,500 and 26,500 permanent jobs by 2035. Meanwhile, calls for ocean energy will feature under the new Horizon 2020 programme for low-carbon energy, which has allocated 113 million euros in 2014 to innovative projects.