With over 70% of our earth covered by oceans and over 85% of Australia’s population living within 50km of the coast, why isn’t energy from the ocean a mainstream source of renewable energy?

The CSIRO estimates that wave energy alone could contribute up to 11% of Australia’s energy by 2050. Given this potential, theAustralian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG) are on a mission to make energy from the from waves and tides (ocean energy) a key piece of the renewable energy puzzle in Australia.

AOEG is establishing a world-first Integrated Ocean Energy Marketplace, designed to address the lack of market demand for ocean energy and to help reduce emissions and facilitate transition to clean energy solutions.

While technology developers and global government bodies have identified target markets for ocean energy, no one, globally, is working directly with the Blue Economy markets to build demand.

The Ocean Energy Marketplace aims to generate a step-change to accelerate ocean energy market demand. By increasing awareness, improving access to technology providers, assuring affordability, and reducing development risk, the Marketplace hopes to reduce the long adoption pathway from technology development to market acceptance experienced by other renewable energy technologies.

Initially taking the form of a digital platform to match-make end-users with ocean energy technology providers, the Marketplace will eventually evolve into a physical microgrid built in Albany, WA. The physical Marketplace will ‘mirror’ a commercial ocean energy system and operate as an innovation centre with the aim of building market demand for ocean energy.

In it, the Marketplace will demonstrate on-site electricity generation through an integrated ocean energy microgrid, that integrates several sources of renewable energy, including offshore wind, solar and energy storage,to provide perpetual and predictable power,.

Low-power desalination units, modular green hydrogen production, and novel energy storage systems will display the additional benefits of renewables, while an interpretation centre will offer community engagement and education opportunities.

The Marketplace is expected to catalyse commercial projects in off-grid markets, enabling customised hybrid grids to be designed for optimal net-zero energy solutions.

By seeing diverse renewable technologies working together, AOEG anticipates markets will witness the advantages of developing integrated energy systems and will be motivated to pursue development for themselves.

The Australian Ocean Energy Group is an industry-led cluster established by Climate-KIC Australia in 2018 with the support of NERA. It’s aim is to accelerate the commercialisation of Australia’s ocean energy sector as the next frontier in low carbon generating capacity.

The AOEG is currently seeking new members who wish to engage in development of the Ocean Energy Marketplace. For more information, please reach out to Stephanie Thornton.

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A diagram showing an integrated system of ocean energy generation technologies
Conceptual ocean energy marketplace (Courtesy of AOEG)