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European Commission Starts Group to Spur Marine Energy Industry

The European Commission plans to start an Ocean Energy Forum to support the commercialization of wave and tidal technologies, which may be worth as much as 535 billion euros ($725 billion) globally by 2050.

The forum will boost cooperation between stakeholders in the industry to help accelerate the development of wave and tidal devices, the commission said today in an e-mailed statement. The commission estimated the size of the wave and tidal energy market based on research by the U.K.’s Carbon Trust.

There are currently no commercial-scale wave and tidal energy projects operating anywhere in the world, with developers still working to cut costs and bring their devices to market. The challenges the industry faces include grid connection issues, environmental impacts and lengthy planning and consenting procedures, the commission said.

“Ocean energy has a significant potential to generate renewable energy, but it’s still in its infancy,” Gunther Oettinger, European commissioner for energy, said in the statement. “European cooperation and capacity-building can help to reap this potential.”

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