The exploitation of ocean energy is currently recognized as an abundant, geographically diverse and renewable energy source that could benefit European citizens by increasing energy independence, enhancing economic growth, creating jobs, allowing decarbonization or serving as a complement to other renewable sources within the global energy mix. Of the various types of ocean energy (wave, tidal, offshore wind, salinity gradient and thermal gradient), this paper is focused on technologies with which to harness the energy from ocean currents. This energy will have considerable possibilities in the future thanks to its high predictability and its enormous potential for the production of electricity. Most of the review papers concerning tidal energy systems are focused on engineering topics. However, there continues to be limited information as regards other aspects, such as those of an economical, social, political, legislative and environmental nature which, together with their interrelationships, need to be dealt with as a whole in order to detect the key drivers that could affect the success or failure of making tidal energy technologies marketable. The objective of this review paper is to address this gap by providing a detailed strategic analysis based on the most up-to-date literature, reports and guidelines. The paper discusses the different disciplines of which the PESTEL analysis (political, economical, social, technological, environmental and legal) is composed and provides different strategies/recommendations through which to mitigate many of the risks identified in order to facilitate the successful development of these technologies and bring them onto the market. Finally, some recent advances in tidal technologies developed by our research group (GIT-ERM) are also highlighted in the technological part of this paper.
- A strategic analysis for offshore tidal energy conversion systems is provided.
- It covers political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal aspects.
- Different strategies/recommendations to mitigate all risks are suggested.
- The presented analysis can be used to support future R&D and deployment.