Ocean energy sector banks on EU support to replicate wind and solar boom

A 50% jump in tidal stream power output last year and an increase in wave power capacity deployment is fuelling optimism in the fledgling industry that its goal of providing a tenth of Europe's electricity by 2050 is realistic with EU backing.

A report published on Tuesday by industry association Ocean Energy Europe showed tidal stream generation – where the ebb and flow of the sea is harnessed to drive underwater turbines – increased to 15 gigawatt hours, enough to power 4,000 homes.

Wave power, which includes a range of technologies that float on the surface of the sea, saw an additional 0.6 MW of generation capacity installed last year, up 25% on the previous year. Nevertheless, these remain largely experimental technologies dwarfed by, for example, wind power, which saw record levels of deployment and covered 15% of EU demand last year.

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