Annual Report 2016

Task 5 - Exchange and Assesment of Ocean Energy Device Project Information and Experience

The mission of Task 5 - The Exchange and Assessment of Ocean Energy Device Project Information and Experience - is to accelerate ocean energy device project development by promoting the sharing, interchange, evaluation, and compilation of information from participating member countries.

To this end, Task 5 is sponsoring a series of workshops, bringing international experts together to contribute and exchange data that can be used to develop an assessment of the fundamental knowledge of ocean energy.

The workshops are managed and administered by the United States Department of Energy and by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The United States Department of Energy has been funding the management and operational costs of this task, while each of the participating countries has been independently funding their participation in the workshops. The OES common fund supported part of the costs of the workshops.


Robert Thresher at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on behalf of the Department of Energy (DOE), U.S.

All member Countries


In 2016, one workshop was organized by the U.S. Department of Energy, hosted by the Swedish Delegate, Maria Olsson, of the Swedish Energy Agency and facilitated by Robert Thresher (US alternate) of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Henry Jeffrey (UK alternate) of the University of Edinburgh. The workshop was held at Brastad, Sweden on May 12, 2016.

This information exchange workshop was focused on the lessons learnt from various policies and other support measures implemented in OES member countries. Through knowledge sharing and collaborative analysis of impacts on the ocean energy sector, it is intended that lessons may be learnt from the results of these instruments, allowing future policies and support measures to be designed in a more informed and effective manner. Given the core vision and goals of the OES, the aim of this workshop was to identify ways in which policy instruments may be used to accelerate development of the ocean energy sector. Central to this goal is the need to foster significant reductions in the cost of energy supplied.

The eight presentations given at the workshop identified and analyze previously implemented policy and support measures, but also included ideas for future implementations. Following the eight brief presentations on ocean policy experience in various countries, there was a period of extended discussion in small working groups in which the participants were asked to discuss and provide a brief written response to four questions on their experience with ocean energy.

The results of the workshop are intended to provide feedback to policy makers on ideas and approaches to improve the effectiveness of future ocean energy policies.

The ExCo decided to keep this task open and to identify topics of common interest for organising future workshops.

Ocean Energy Policies: Lessons learned. Smogen, Sweden, 12th of May 2016

What lessons have been learnt from past ocean energy policy experience?

What went well and what didn’t work as well?


“Ocean energy policies that worked well were those where funding agent policies have been flexible, agents worked closely with industry, and have been responsive to their needs. In addition, an incremental approach to development at a modest scale and in collaboration with universities was identified as being productive…”

Areas where current policies were seen as not working well were where funding agencies had expectations that were too optimistic regarding the cost and time to develop ocean energy technologies. .. Due to the high expectations and short timelines some ambitious projects have resulted in failures and the lessons learned both good and bad have not been openly shared.”


What recommendation would you suggest
to improve on existing policies? 


“..clear, specifically tailored policies addressing ocean energy technology development with associated funding levels and realistic timelines. The policies should create targeted stepping stone markets and incentivize early development and deployment of ocean energy technologies to prove their viability in realistic commercial applications.”

“The funding needs to be flexible and tailored to the developer’s needs, and be as continuous as possible to eliminate disruptive gaps and research team disintegration.”

“ development should employ a step‐by‐step stage gate process for approving funding and advancement to the next stage, which is guided by a well vetted set of metrics. The timeline and funding should be realistic and well informed by past national and international experience. Failures should be anticipated because there are significant uncertainties in the ocean energy development process.”


What new approaches do you recommend?


“…long term focus for the ocean energy development programs with more emphasis on research and development.”

“…a one‐stop shop for permitting ocean energy facilities.”

“..more communication, collaboration, and data sharing to address several different technical and manufacturing challenges.”


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