IRENA Members Spur Offshore Renewables as Driver for Blue Economy

25 June 2020 |Virtual


In response to a call by its active and global Membership, IRENA has created collaborative frameworks that serve as an effective platform for increased dialogue and coordinated action among its Members. A new Collaborative Framework on Offshore Renewables brings countries together to identify priority areas, actions and foster international collaboration to understand the role of ocean and offshore renewables in the energy transition and ensure its widespread deployment in the future.

Ocean energy and offshore renewables including offshore wind, wave, tidal, ocean thermal, and floating PV energy can help decarbonise the power sector and drive a blue economy in areas such as shipping, space cooling, water desalination or green hydrogen.

Offshore renewables also provide significant socio-economic gains to countries with coastal areas and island territories, creating jobs and benefits to livelihoods and local value chains. Nearly 2.4 billion people or about 40 per cent of the world’s population live in coastal areas, the UN estimates. And IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook shows that more than 6 million people could be employed just in the wind industry alone by 2050.

“Offshore renewables should not be viewed as a standalone technology”, said IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera during the first meeting. “They should rather be seen as a holistic solution that can drive an ocean blue economy and adds value to industries, particularly in times of COVID-19 recovery and stimulus packages, and to communities in coastal areas and island, which are among the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change.”

The platform aims to advance in areas relevant to offshore renewables including technology development, research and innovation, market incentives, regulatory frameworks and sustainability. It shows IRENA’s continued commitment as leading global platform to share knowledge and support Governments in pursuit of the deployment of renewable energy.

69 Participants from 38 Countries identified areas where IRENA could support its Membership in advancing joint demonstration projects and the commercialisation of new offshore technologies. This includes the reduction of technology cost, the coupling of offshore renewables with power-to-X and the transfer of knowledge and skills from offshore oil and gas to offshore renewables. Furthermore, countries underlined the importance to develop floating technologies for both wind and PV as well as ocean energy in general. The design of financing mechanisms and enabling policy frameworks were also identified as priority to advance the offshore renewable agenda.

The Collaborative Framework Ocean Energy and Offshore Renewables is the fourth in a series of meetings on hydropower, geopolitics of energy transformation and green hydrogen. An additional one still to come will focus on the high shares of renewables.

Frameworks are open to all interested 161 Members and 22 States in Accession who are committed to actively participating in and contributing to the activities. For more information contact Secretariat@irena.org.