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NERA plans ocean-energy innovation hub

Manufacturing News

A visionary ocean-energy market innovation hub will be unveiled today to achieve a step-change to accelerate the adoption of integrated, ocean power as an energy solution.

To be announced at the Australian Ocean Energy Group’s Market Summit in Hobart, a feasibility study is underway on developing a two stage integrated ocean energy marketplace (IOEM) for Western Australia.

The IOEM project’s first stage virtual marketplace and learning centre will draw data from existing wave and tidal energy projects, to mix and match end-users to proposed ocean energy system integrations and potential providers.

The second stage is a working, pilot scale ocean energy system will be created as a world-first offshore energy marketplace.

The ocean energy microgrid will include a combination of wind and wave energy converters, onshore and/or offshore solar, storage and application technologies including green hydrogen production, desalination capability and EV charging.

Driven by the Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG) cluster which was established with industry growth centre NERA’s support in 2018, the IOEM will show end-user markets how ocean energy can meet their needs..

It is hoped the market place will lead to increased adoption of wave and tidal energy, increased accessibility to technology and increased understanding around affordability.

By bringing together global technology providers, renewable energy contributors and specialist suppliers with transitioning energy customers, the IOEM is focused on scaling, commercialising and de-risking the ocean energy sector.

AOEG Cluster Manager Stephanie Thornton said Australia’s energy markets were largely unaware of the benefits of integrating ocean energy with other renewables, including offshore wind.

Thornton said: “We need to address this and raise the market’s awareness of the benefits of multi-purpose offshore energy parks that can optimise energy planning solutions as well as delivering low carbon solutions to marine based industries and communities.

“We’ve identified there are four main barriers to the adoption of ocean energy – awareness, accessibility, affordability and commercial project delivery.

“The IOEM project has been designed to address these challenges head-on and directly connect key end-users to technical solutions in development.

Thornton said the blue economy market sector presented a large and immediate opportunity for wave and tidal energy to have a significant decarbonisation impact.

“Through the IOEM we hope to demonstrate our vision.

“We believe seeing leads to understanding and understanding underpins adoption.”

NERA’s ocean energy programme manager Alex Oggsaid NERA was seeking partners to help make ocean energy be a leader in the transition to a sustainable future.

Image: NERA

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