ORECCA European Offshore Renewable Energy Roadmap


Title: ORECCA European Offshore Renewable Energy Roadmap
Publication Date:
September 01, 2011
Pages: 101
Sponsoring Organization:

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Jeffrey, H.; Sedgwick, J. (2011). ORECCA European Offshore Renewable Energy Roadmap. Report by University of Edinburgh. pp 101.

This document represents for the first time a combined roadmap developed for the offshore wind, wave and tidal stream energy sectors, focussed on the synergies, opportunities and barriers to development that are revealed when the sectors are investigated together in pan-technology and pan-European context.


The principal target audiences of the recommendations set out are policy makers at the EU and Member State level. However, the recommendations and the way forwards set out are also of high importance for other stakeholders to the offshore renewable energy sector.


The roadmap is structured around five key streams which are essential to the development of the offshore renewable energy sector. Each of these streams has a dedicated chapter in the main roadmap document:

  • Resource;
  • Finance;
  • Technology;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Environment, Regulation & Legislation.


Europe has a large amount of natural resource across the three offshore renewable energy sectors. Technically offshore wind, wave and tidal together could supply 100% of Europe‟s future electricity demand. These resources present significant opportunities with respect to increased energy security, emissions reductions, and economic benefits including job creation.


Before looking forward to where the offshore renewable energy sectors are heading in the future, it is important to consider where the sectors are now. For the offshore wind sector, there is currently approximately 4GW installed capacity in Europe, and over 100GW in the planning pipeline for 2020. In comparison, for the ocean energy sector (wave and tidal stream), no commercial farm scale deployments currently exist, and the amount of capacity in the pipeline for Europe by 2020 is approximately 2GW. It is clear that the ocean energy sector is at an earlier stage of development than the offshore wind sector and a deployment timeline for the two sectors is shown in Figure A below.


The ORECCA project does not set out deployment targets for the offshore renewable energy sectors, but aligns itself with existing targets and aims to facilitate their achievement by identifying synergies and addressing barriers to the development of the sectors. Both European and International targets exist for the sectors, as illustrated in Figure B. All of these targets present an opportunity for the realisation of large economic benefits in the European Union (EU). The EU OEA envisage that the realisation of the European target of 188GW installed capacity of ocean energy by 2050 alone could result in the creation of over 450,000 jobs.


The offshore wind targets are higher than the ocean energy targets at both the international and European level, due to the fact that the ocean energy sectors are currently at an earlier stage of development and it will take longer to achieve large scale commercial deployments. A large portion of the global targets will have to be met by deployments outside Europe. This represents an important market and opportunity for the sectors, which are currently heavily concentrated in Europe, to export technology and expertise worldwide.

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