The AOE Market Development Summit

Collaborating on a Sustainable Future
The Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG) recently hosted an exclusive Ocean Energy Market Development Summit at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). The primary aim of the Summit was to establish a simultaneous customer-pull and industry-push, in an effort to increase the number of ocean energy development projects across Australia.

Held on the 5th and 6th of December, the Summit’s main objectives were to:
  • Profile a range of potential markets for wave and tidal stream energy generation technologies,
  • Generate understanding of requirements for the establishment of a successful, sustainable ocean energy sector,
  • Facilitate opportunities for global collaboration around one or more commercial demonstration projects,
  • Foster connectivity across a range of supply chains, and
  • Align with new Blue Economy CRC objectives to demonstrate a link between ocean energy technologies and ocean-based food producers as potential customers.
This invitation-only event included a cross section of ocean energy project and technology developers, industrial market representatives, finance, engineering, academia, government, industry groups and international experts. 

Special thanks to Team Aquatera, who did an excellent job of designing and facilitating the entire program.

Day One

The aim of day one was to generate understanding about what potential market opportunities for ocean energy generation exist, and the requirements to meet these market needs. It was also intended to inform participants of the current state of the Australian ocean energy sector. 

Market presentations and interactive discussions included:
  • Aquaculture
  • Desalination
  • Microgrids and Remote Communities
  • Hydrogen
  • Utilities
  • Ports and Harbours
  • Offshore Oil and Gas
  • Offshore Infrastructure (Monitoring and Observation)
A Developers Showcase was also included in the day one program, which provided the audience with insights into the ocean energy technology developer's company, technology and target markets.

Participating companies included:
  • AMOG
  • Bombora Wave Power
  • Carnegie Clean Energy
  • CorPower Ocean
  • MAKO Tidal Turbines
  • Sabella
  • Wave Swell
The excellent presentations and lively discussions were captured in a visual illustration.
Day Two

Day two explored how development of markets for ocean energy might best occur. The concept of an Innovation Hub served as a catalyst for exploring various approaches. Participants were broken into sub-groups to deliberate four key issues needed to build a successful ocean energy sector.

These topics included:
  • A regulatory structure and consenting pathway,
  • Design of suitable business models adapted for specific markets,
  • Establishment of a policy framework with strong stakeholder engagement, and
  • Potential designs for what an Innovation Hub might look like.
The following illustration identifies the day two discussions. 
According to feedback from participants, one of the single most important takeaways from the Summit is: there will not be a one size fits all in ocean energy. Participants learned about the very diverse wave and tidal technologies in development and how they are suited for varied ocean environments – such as deep and shallow waters, fast and slow flowing waters and other factors. 

The key to future market success will depend on fulfilling the market need with the right ocean energy technologies and systems. 

Next steps will be to translate this valuable information into practical roadmaps to connect key markets with ocean energy suppliers and systems. 
AOEG sincerely appreciates all contributions that made this a highly successful event. 

Special thanks to our event sponsors: the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Blue Economy CRC, Climate-KIC Australia, CSIRO, Oceantera, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Dept. of Energy Laboratory.

Great Southern Marine Research Facility Opens

Albany, Western Australia
The Great Southern Marine Research Facility (GSMRF) is a new addition to the University of Western Australia (UWA). Hosting a knowledge and innovation hub for Australia’s renewable ocean energy sector and the region’s coastal communities, the facility invites collaboration between academia, the marine industry and the government.

The GSMRF is part of a professional network of ocean engineering experts that includes research infrastructure across Albany and Perth locations. Attracting specialists to the region, the Facility offers a dedicated coworking space to create, maintain and grow collaborations to further benefit the region. 

The Facility’s main occupant is the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC). As outlined in earlier AOEG newsletters, the WERC was established as a knowledge hub for the ocean energy community. The Centre provides multidisciplinary research in three main interlinked research programs that support renewable ocean energy projects.

WERC Director, Professor Christophe Gaudin states: “We are bringing together decades of expertise in offshore engineering to advance renewable ocean energy to the point of commercial viability. This is a multidisciplinary, cross sector project that aims to put the Great Southern on the international map of ocean energy and innovation hotspots.”

The WERC’s addition to the local university precinct also consolidates the impact a regional campus can have on its community. The City of Albany is pursuing a vision to become a 100% renewable energy city by 2026 and wholeheartedly supports WERC activities in the region. Additionally, research activities will boost the local economy through visitor influx and marine field activities – providing a positive catalyst for new education and training opportunities in marine science and engineering.
When asked by AOEG about her passion for ocean energy, Dr Wiebke Ebeling, Centre Manager for the WERC, stated: “The need for the world to fully integrate renewable energies is beyond debate – but ocean renewables have not yet reached the point of cost-competitiveness with other technologies. At the same time, the ocean offers a very powerful and consistent energy resource that promises to solve current issues with high variability – for instance, between day and night for solar and between times of strong and weak winds.”

“Wave and tidal are much more consistent and predictable, with a lesser need for energy storage, however, with the caveat of operating in a harsher environment that requires substantial research and development until cost-competitive. UWA ranks among the top world-wide in offshore engineering, which offers a unique opportunity to unite this rich and relevant multidisciplinary skill base within the WERC team and dedicate it to the advancement of the ocean energy sector.”

The GSMRF’s Albany location positions the Facility to become a global leader in wave energy, as Western Australia already possesses expertise and experimental capabilities in offshore engineering, is home to some of Australia's most promising wave energy companies, and is situated on the doorstep on one of our nation's best wave energy resources.

In the words of Dr Ebeling: “As an island continent with a population concentrated around the coastline, Australia has not only an opportunity to embrace ocean energy, but should regard it as an asset, a privilege and a mandate to create a fertile innovation industry.”

You can learn more about the GSMRF below.


The Liquid Grid

A conversation with David Hume
The Liquid Grid was founded in 2016 to serve as a leading information provider at the intersection of energy, ocean technology and sustainability. Informing readers of the latest issues, trends and opportunities in marine clean tech, the site offers thought-provoking articles, insightful industry interviews, technical information and additional resources –  including an interview with Australia’s Dr Mark Hemer

AOEG recently spoke with David Hume, Founder of The Liquid Grid, to gain his insights on the Blue Economy and passion for ocean energy technology. David has worked within numerous sectors of the Blue Economy, is a strong advocate for marine clean tech, is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Merchant Marine Engineering Officer, and is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.  
Q: Why did you found The Liquid Grid?

DH: Much of what happens in the ocean is out of sight and out of mind for many people. My goal is to change the public discourse and make people more aware of the amazing technologies, people and companies that are shaping the Blue Economy.

The Liquid Grid was founded in 2016 to increase public awareness of ocean technologies as they relate to sustainability and energy – what I like to call marine clean tech. I write articles, conduct interviews and send out newsletters to keep people informed and aware of the latest trends in this space. I focus on sustainable ocean energy technologies because I believe energy is a crucial element to any sector – whether it’s offshore wind or offshore aquaculture – and that it is inherently linked to the climate change discussion.

Q: Why are you so passionate about the Blue Economy?

DH: The ocean shapes much of our daily life. The coffee you drink at breakfast or the jacket you don before going to work were likely carried by ship. The weather forecast you watch on the news before heading out the door was developed using data collected from ocean observing stations. The oil lubricating your car’s engine as you drive to work likely came from an offshore oil well. No matter where you live, the ocean has a very real impact on your life. Something so impactful should be cherished and well-managed.

The ocean may be the most dominant feature on our planet, but it is poorly understood due to its immensity and complexity. Although we still have much to learn, we know that it’s undergoing rapid change and facing unprecedented threats from stressors such as acidification, pollution and warming.

While its immensity makes it hard to understand, it also makes the ocean one of our most powerful weapons in the fight against climate change, if used sustainably and responsibly. This is the promise of the Blue Economy: sustainable use of the oceans for improved environmental and economic health.

The Blue Economy encompasses so many exciting and fast-growing sectors, from offshore renewable energy to cellular aquaculture, and each has a role to play in fighting climate change. The Blue Economy can have a very real and positive impact on the world, and we get to help build it. What’s not to be passionate about?
Q: What are your hopes for the future of renewable ocean energy?

DH: I’m cautiously optimistic. The ocean is huge and literally filled with energy in the form of waves and currents. Given this abundance, I find it difficult to believe that marine energy won’t play a strong role in the future clean energy society. That said, the sector still has a way to go from where it is today. 

Reliable and cost-effective ocean energy technologies are not the norm and the total global deployed capacity for ocean renewable energy is not even half that of a single nuclear power plant. Offshore wind is making strong progress however, and the United States is on the cusp of an offshore wind boom that will be sure to send the sector into overdrive. I am hopeful that the advances brought about through offshore wind will lead to significant cost reductions and improvements in ocean renewable energy as well. 

I think society is well on its way toward adopting renewable energy and understands its value, both in tangible and intangible terms. Just this year, it was announced it is now cheaper (in some parts of the U.S.) to build a new solar plant than it is to operate an existing coal plant. I find it amazing that the economics of solar have become that competitive so quickly and am hopeful other technologies will follow similar paths. There is still much work to be done, but the electrical grid I think is on the right path. It’s other industries, like aviation, shipping or industry that I think will be the tough nuts to crack – however we are seeing encouraging changes. For example, major shipping companies like Maersk and CMA-CGM are piloting renewable biofuels and wind turbines on their vessels to help reduce emissions.   

Q: What do you think we can do to contribute to a renewable future?

DH: Be what you want to see in the world.

To learn more about The Liquid Grid and read the articles, visit the website. 


NERA Hydrogen Cluster

Positioning Australia as a Global Leader
AOEG’s start-up funder, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), is set to lead a new hydrogen cluster – positioning Australia as a global force in the emerging hydrogen economy. The Hydrogen Industry Cluster (HIC) will drive crucial collaboration across the emerging hydrogen value chain – as AOEG does across the emerging ocean energy value chain – building the scale and capabilities of developing technologies to sustain a clean, innovative and safe industry.

The announcement of the cluster forms a key part of the National Hydrogen Strategy released by the Council for Australian Governments. NERA’s CEO Miranda Taylor welcomes the release of the strategy and will continue to support Australian governments in harnessing this opportunity for Australia’s energy future.

“While the global hydrogen economy is still embryonic, action is needed now to ensure Australia captures the significant opportunity to help shape the production and use of hydrogen and become a leading source of hydrogen knowledge and solutions.”

“Now is the time to connect and build our underlying hydrogen knowledge economy and help our local innovators overcome barriers to market activation through collaboration between industry, governments, researchers, innovators and SMEs.”

This announcement continues NERA’s strong track-record of facilitating and funding the formation and development of industry-led energy clusters, with AOEG and the Subsea Innovation Cluster Australia (SICA) already established. Cluster development forms a key part of NERA’s national initiatives in supporting sector-wide transformational change and the development of a smart, high value supply chain. 

To learn more about NERA’s activities, visit their website.


Blue Economy CRC

Call for Projects and New CEO Announced
The Blue Economy CRC has two exciting announcements; it is calling for general projects across its five integrated user-defined research programs, and has nominated a new CEO.

The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest for a general project is February 14, 2020. 

If you wish to propose or discuss a project idea with program leaders, please register via Connect – Blue Economy, the Blue Economy CRC’s online collaboration space.

For more information about how to submit a  BE-CRC project, visit their website
In additional news, the Blue Economy CRC is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr John Whittington as its inaugural CEO.

John has joined the Blue Economy CRC from the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, where he has been the Secretary for more than five years. As the leader of the agency, he has been responsible for a regionally dispersed workforce of approximately 1,400 people.

John will take up the role of CEO in late January 2020, based in Launceston in Tasmania. In the interim, the work of the CRC will continue to be led strongly by Dr Darren Cundy.

Learn more about John below.


AWTEC 2020

Save the Date
Mark your calendars! 

The fifth Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC 2020) will be held in Hobart, Tasmania, 8-12 November 2020.  

AWTEC aims to provide an opportunity to exchange, learn, interact and network on all multidisciplinary aspects of renewable ocean energy, with colleagues from all over the world.

A Call for Abstracts is now open

The third Australian Ocean Renewable Energy Symposium (AORES) will be featured within AWTEC 2020, highlighting the growth of Australia’s renewable energy capabilities and developments.

This is not one to be missed! Register your interest below.


Wishing you a joyous holiday season with peace & success in the year to come!  
Copyright © 2019 Australian Ocean Energy Group, All rights reserved.

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