Funding tools 'key' to ocean future
OEE 2016: Industry report outlines finance options to build sector in Europe
Building Europe’s marine energy industry will need innovative financing tools to channel public and private investment efficiently, according to a new report.
The report – Ocean Energy Roadmap produced by the sector at the request of the European Commission – identifies the challenges facing the industry on the path to commercial readiness and puts forward solutions to overcome them.
Ocean Energy Europe chief executive Rémi Gruet (pictured) said: “Access to capital is the main challenge facing innovative sectors, especially in the demonstration phase, when investment needs to 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 Roadmap proposes just that, solutions fit for the purpose of reducing risk and unlocking capital: milestone-bound grant awards, guarantees and insurance.”
The ocean energy sector, the commission, the European Investment Bank and member states will now look at how to implement the finance solutions presented in the report.