The EERA Ocean Energy JP is based around six key research themes. These themes have been developed based on existing research roadmaps which identify the critical areas of research required for the successful growth of the industry. The Research Themes are here:
Within each Research Theme a number of sub-themes have been identified as key medium to long-term research objectives. The EERA Ocean Energy JP activities are based around these research requirements and members will work together to address the research needs in an order that aligns with the priorities and urgency of the sector, as well as within the means of available funding. The EERA Ocean energy programme will contribute to strategic leadership of the underpinning research, joint prioritization of research tasks and infrastructure, alignment of European and national research efforts, coordination with industry and sharing of knowledge and research infrastructure.
Since 2016, activities of the EERA OE JP have focused on the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy (ETIP Ocean). ETIP Ocean is an international platform that brings together stakeholders in industry, government and research to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration, the identification of strategy for overcoming barriers to sector commercialisation, define a common vision and engage with the public.
With the EERA OE JP as a key collaborator, ETIP Ocean uses webinars to share knowledge among ocean energy stakeholders. Webinar content was selected based on the highest priority challenges facing the sector as determined at the beginning of the project, to ensure the relevance and impact on the sector.
A total of 682 people registered for the 14 webinars held during the first iteration of ETIP Ocean, which culminated in late 2018. This is a sizable group for what currently is a small sector.
The EERA OE JP, through ETIP Ocean, also hosts workshops that allow ocean energy actors to meet face-to-face, and to discuss the key challenges facing the sector (as per the webinar schedule). To maximise attendance, workshops are free of charge, held alongside other sectoral events, and organised in locations where the sector is most established.
Furthermore, sitting within the research pillar of the EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), EERA OE JP works closely with industry and decision makers to contribute to the Plan’s ‘No. 1 in Renewables’ Action. EERA OE JP has a seat on the Board of Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) – the European industrial association. The formal involvement of the EERA OE JP in SET Plan Working Groups ensures input into upcoming work programmes. This contribution to work programmes is arguably the most significant way in which the current EERA OE JP contributes to the sector. Through ETIP Ocean, the EERA OE JP was a significant contributor to the consortium’s 2019 publication, Powering Homes Today, Powering Nations Tomorrow, 2019, which offers policy solutions which stand to support the industrial roll-out of ocean energy.
The EERA OE JP is involved in international collaboration on a global scale. Primary activities include the facilitation of knowledge sharing and workshops with other organisations such as International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems Technology Collaboration Programme (IEA-OES), the United States’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Department of Energy (DoE).
In autumn 2016, the EERA OE JP ran the Workshop on Stage Gate Metrics for Ocean Energy Technology Development in collaboration with the Ocean Energy European Research Area Network (OCEANERA-NET) and the International Energy Agency Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES) group and facilitated by Wave Energy Scotland. Focusing on the development of metrics at an international scale, the workshop by 43 key stakeholders from 10 countries and 32 different companies, covering a broad range of competencies including technology development, supply chain, research, policy making, test facilities and technical verification. The main objectives were to continue the process of defining practicable metrics for measuring success in a number of key, targeted areas of ocean energy technology development and to identify appropriate numerical success thresholds for each metric.
This is an on-going process to build clarity, information and understanding to support metric definition. The key conclusion of the workshop was the need for high-level Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) optimisation and the interdependence of metrics.
The EERA OE JP also collaborates in the within the programme of the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE).