For the ocean energy industry, the year was similar to 2015, with a growing number of companies around the world advancing their technologies and deploying new and improved devices.
However, commercial success for ocean energy technologies remained in check due to perennial challenges. These include financing obstacles in an industry characterized by relatively high risk and high upfront costs and by the need for improved planning, consenting and licensing procedures. Global ocean energy capacity, mostly tidal power generation, was about 536 MW by the end of 2016.
Ocean energy technologies are still largely in pre-commercial development stages. Tidal current technologies are the furthest along, with the first tidal turbine arrays nearing commercial deployment. Wave energy converters are advancing to the pre-commercial demonstration stage, and some pilot projects have been developed utilizing ocean thermal energy conversion and salinity gradient technologies.
Since most of the advancement in the industry is tied to pre-commercial testing and development, the global ocean energy sector continues to rely on backing from national and regional governments in the form of funding and infrastructure support.
The character of 2016 was similar to the previous year for the ocean energy industry, with a growing number of companies around the world advancing their technologies and deploying new and improved devices.
Source: Renewables 2017 - REN21 (Renewable Energy Police Network for the 21st. Century)