Part One
Welcome to part one of the AOEG newsletter. 

Though the global events of the past few months need no introduction, the impact has been felt by all. 

As such, we have chosen to release the AOEG newsletter in two parts. The first (as follows) highlights key developments in Australia’s ocean energy industry. The second (to be delivered next week) showcases AOEG members and their individual, inspiring responses to COVID-19.

While we may be apart, it essential we remain a strong, connected and future-focused community. 

We hope this news finds you well. 

Standards Australia

Announcing Australia’s New Ocean Energy Standards Committee
AOEG is proud to announce formation of a new Australian marine energy Standards mirror committee to the International Electrotechnical Commission on Marine Energy Standards (IEC-TC114): EL-066 Marine Energy – wave, tidal and other water current converters.

The IEC-TC114 was established by the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2007 to prepare International Standards for wave, tidal and other water current conversion systems energy into electricity. It comprises 14 participating countries and an additional 13 observer countries.

The IEC-TC114’s remit is to prepare International Standards that allow marine energy technologies to evolve beyond the early stages of development into full commercial development. These Standards are technical specifications and documents prepared by global experts, describing best practices for how ocean energy devices should be designed, built and operated to be safe, compatible and interoperable.

AOEG led the successful submission of the application to Standards Australia. The new marine energy mirror committee is particularly significant, as it marks a first for the Australian ocean energy development community – effectively enabling Australia to ‘take a seat’ at the international table.

Standards Australia appointed the following organisations to EL-066: AOEG, the Consumers’ Federation of Australia, CSIRO, Energy Consumers Australia, Engineers Australia, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), Society for Underwater Technology, the University of Adelaide, the University of Queensland, the University of New South Wales, the University of Tasmania and the University of Western Australia. The virtual kickoff meeting is scheduled for 23 June 2020.
Standards Australia is the nation’s peak non-government, not-for-profit Standards organisation. For every new Standard, the organisation brings key parties and stakeholders together to form a technical committee. These committees collaborate to develop standards of value to Australia, its businesses and its people.

Standards Australia’s purpose is divided into three core components:
  • Standards Development
    Offering stakeholders from a variety of sectors pathways to develop or update new or existing Standards.
  • International Participation
    Participating in the development and adoption of a wide range of International Standards.
  • Accreditation of Standards Development Organisations
    Assessing and approving other organisations to develop Australian Standards.
AOEG looks forward to the exciting opportunities this will provide for our country, in contributing to future global ocean energy Industry Standards.


Blue Economy CRC

Participant Advisory Committee
The Blue Economy CRC (BE-CRC) has taken its first steps in the foundational work to underpin its research agenda, announcing 17 short-term scoping projects and establishing its new Participant Advisory Committee (PAC). These efforts will involve collaboration between industry and research partners to guide BE-CRC’s future.

The PAC's primary role is  to provide direct input to the Board on strategic matters, including direction, priorities and progress.  AOEG is honoured to serve as a member of the new Participant Advisory Committee.  

AOEG is also a proud member of the following scoping projects:
  • Developing a Policy and Regulatory Research Plan
    ID: P.5.20.004
    Led by AOEG member, BMT Commercial Australia
  • Logistics Challenges to Offshore/High Energy Co-location of Aquaculture and Energy Industries
    ID: P.5.20.003
    Led by Peggy Chen, University of Tasmania
Read more about the Blue Economy CRC’s latest projects below.

Frameworks and Policies

Supporting Intent and Principles
Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper

On 21 June, AOEG submitted a response to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, in its call for input to the draft national Technology Investment Roadmap. This Roadmap is intended to guide the Government's technology investment portfolio, to reduce emissions and become the cornerstone of the Long-Term Emissions Reduction Strategy.  

AOEG's key recommendations are:
  • Request addition of ocean energy technologies into the Roadmap's prioritised shortlist, as a source of 'electricity generation / supply'. 
  • Support development of technologies throughout the entire sector.
    Integrating technologies, markets, supply chain, research and education.
  • Incorporate ocean energy technologies into the Roadmap as a source of 'electricity generation / supply' within the context of integrated energy solutions.
    For example, integrated with battery storage and other sources of renewable energy, such as hydrogen production.
  • Government to facilitate permit consistency and streamlining for local, state and federal regulatory authorities.
    To achieve even greater benefits, AOEG recommended the Government establish a Permit Roadmap alongside this Roadmap, for all emerging energy-generating technologies.
Read AOEG's response below.
Offshore Clean Energy Infrastructure Regulatory Framework

On 27 February, AOEG submitted a response to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in response to the Offshore Clean Energy Infrastructure Regulatory Framework. 

As noted in the Annex IV 2016 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World: “The consenting process is still regarded as a barrier for the sector to scale up and become cost-competitive with other forms of electricity generation. Uncertainties about the application of environmental legislation can prolong consenting processes, adding costs, delays and significant uncertainty.” 

AOEG therefore supports the intent and principles outlined in the Framework Discussion Paper. 

Within the broad outline of the approach proposed, AOEG commented on four areas associated with non-commercial activities for the Commonwealth’s consideration – as these may have a material impact on the sector’s ability to attract capital in pre-commercialisation phases:
  1. Ministerial Declaration of Areas
  2. Environmental Assessments
  3. Co-location with Existing Offshore Infrastructure
  4. Allowance of Offtake Agreements
Read AOEG’s full response below.

Federal Treasury Pre-Budget Submission

National Energy Resources Australia’s (NERA) pre-budget submission to the Department of the Treasury includes great support for AOEG’s initiatives. Identifying challenges and opportunities for a clean, affordable, reliable energy future, the submission highlights significant trends and priorities to drive long-term economic growth for Australia.

The submission specifically requests operational and project funding of $5M over three years for AOEG, to catalyse the development of internationally competitive ocean energy technologies and capabilities and deliver resilient coastal and island communities.

As noted in the submission: “Fulfilling the potential of ocean energy requires continued investment into technology development, national test sites, supportive industry policies and continued engagement across industry supply chains.”

Read the full submission for details. 



Ocean Energy Systems

Annual Report

Ocean Energy Systems (OES) is a worldwide organisation under the International Energy Agency (IEA) Technology Collaboration Programme. It aims to connect organisations and individuals working in the ocean energy sector, to accelerate the viability, uptake and acceptance of ocean energy systems in an environmentally-acceptable manner.

Australia joined the OES in 2018 and has since been actively involved in the international organisation, alongside 25 country members. With the CSIRO serving as Australia’s primary delegate, and AOEG serving as alternate delegate, summaries of OES ExCo and other special meetings have been featured in previous newsletters and across communications channels.

The organisation’s work covers all forms of energy generation in which sea water forms the motive power, including waves, tidal and ocean currents, tidal range, ocean thermal energy conversion and salinity gradients.

The OES 2019 Annual Report presents an overview of progress made by the organisation to date, summaries of new, ongoing and recent projects, and updated country reviews prepared by delegates.


Wave Energy Research Centre

From Surface to Seabed
Following our previous newsletter announcement on the grand opening of UWA’s Great Southern Marine Research Facility (GSMRF) and its main occupant the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC), AOEG is excited to share a video on the Centre’s current progress.

Dr Wiebke Ebeling, Centre Manager for the WERC, provided the following update: “The UWA Wave Energy Research Centre, with nodes in Perth and Albany, has been progressing work from surface to seabed and intensified collaboration nationally and internationally. The Blue Economy CRC is commencing research operations with 17 scoping projects – four of which the WERC will participate in.”

These four scoping projects are:
  1. Robust site selection procedures and environmental and operational monitoring strategies, including the application of remote monitoring technologies.
  2. Operational modelling for offshore aquaculture and energy.
  3. Multipurpose offshore/high energy platforms: concepts and applications.
  4. Offshore/high energy sustainable hybrid power systems.
Dr Ebeling continues: “The Integrated Marine Observing System’s New Technology Proving Program – awarded to the WERC for low-cost wave buoys – has already yielded excellent data from Sofar Ocean’s freely drifting ‘spotter’ buoys; for example, in a recent storm off the WA coast.” 

“The WERC is also performing geotechnical modelling for Fugro Marine Australia, to explore the behaviour of suction bucket foundations in sand. The ultimate client for this project is the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), with the project forming part of its Proposed Safety and Technology Verification Research Projects: Wind Power Structure Research.”

The WERC also plans to strengthen ties with Oregon State University and the Pacific Marine Energy Center as part of a Fulbright Scholarship – one of several U.S. cultural exchange programs designed to improve intercultural relations and diplomacy. 



ORJIP Ocean Energy

Quarterly Bulletin

The Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) is a UK-wide collaborative programme of environmental research, with the aim of reducing consenting risks for wave, tidal stream and tidal range projects. The programme aims to ensure consenting risks for early array deployments are addressed, by facilitating a strategic, coordinated and prioritised approach to monitoring and research.

The ORJIP Quarterly Bulletin provides an overview of key activity across the ORJIP ocean energy network. AOEG was recently featured as part of ORJIP’s active collaboration with OES-Environmental. The Bulletin outlined a Sydney workshop from December, focusing on the environmental effects of marine renewable energy (MRE) and risk retirement for key environmental effects of MRE devices on marine animals and the environment.

To subscribe to the ORJIP Quarterly Bulletin or view the feature, click the links below.


Representing the Industry

Recent Events and Initiatives
Over the past few months, AOEG and its members have been fortunate to represent the industry and country at a number of significant events.
Introducing the Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO) - Ocean Renewables Podcast

Ocean Impact Organisation (OIO) is an exciting new initiative launched by Nick Chiarelli and Tim Silverwood (former CEO of Take 3 For The Sea). It aims to accelerate 100 ocean impact businesses in the next five years.

Building on the success of start-up and incubator models in industries – such as renewable energy, agriculture and technology – OIO will aggregate the ocean impact ecosystem to drive innovation and investment in six key areas:
  1. Ocean health
  2. Ocean harvesting
  3. Ocean energy
  4. Transportation and security
  5. Inspiration and leisure
  6. New frontiers 
Interested start-ups, businesses, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors can register now at: 

OIO has also launched a new podcast: The Ocean Impact Podcast. You can listen to a recent episode with AOEG’s CEO, Stephanie Thornton, on Spotify, Apple, SoundCloud or YouTube. 


Asian Oil and Gas Conference
11 - 13 March

AOEG members Carnegie Clean Energy and the University of Western Australia (UWA) represented the industry at the Asian Oil and Gas Conference in Perth. Carnegie’s CEO, Jonathan Fiévez, participated in an energy panel presentation – Energy disruption or diversification? The role of renewables and new energy – moderated by NERA’s CEO, Miranda Taylor.

AOEG also participated as an exhibitor within the NERA master exhibition booth, with Brighid Jay, Carnegie’s Commercial Director, and Michael Cuttler, UWA Research Associate, educating oil and gas visitors.
OES Executive Committee
18 - 22 May

The OES Executive Committee (ExCo) is comprised of 25 representatives from members countries across the globe. Delegates meet twice a year to make decisions on management, participation and implementation aspects of OES.

Due to circumstances of COVID-19, the 38th meeting – originally scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. alongside ICOE 2020 – was held via a virtual webinar series during May. Australia was proudly represented by its delegates from AOEG and the CSIRO. The series included the following topics:
  • Open session and jobs creation study
  • Environmental and international database
  • Performance metrics and web GIS database
  • Wave energy, tidal energy and OTEC working group reports
  • Communication and feedback from all webinars
Webinars were recorded and can be accessed via the OES extranet. If you would like to receive a copy of a recording, please contact Carolina Silva:
TCI Oceania Webinar
May 2020

TCI Oceania is a chapter of the TCI Network – a global network of people and organisations working in clusters and innovations systems around the world. Responding to recent catastrophic events of drought, bushfires and COVID-19, TCI Oceania implemented a special virtual forum. 

Shock-Survive-Transform was the core theme of three online forums, exploring how clusters can play a pivotal role in the survival and transformation of businesses. This dynamic event was supported by NERA and fellow growth centres FIAL and METS Ignited, and held throughout May 2020.

AOEG’s Stephanie Thornton participated alongside an esteemed group of panelists, discussing AOEG’s transformational work in the ocean energy sector.
Australian Academy of Science, Oceans and Coastal Systems Transformation
National Strategy Expert Working Group

AOEG is delighted to be part of the Australian Academy of Science's Future Earth Australia’s (FEA), Oceans and Coastal Systems Transformation National Strategy expert working group (EWG). The EWG is developing a national, ten-year strategy for sustainable oceans and coasts – creating a unique, cross-sectoral, transdisciplinary effort to improve Australia’s ocean and coastal future. FEA’s kickoff meeting is scheduled for 3 July 2020.

“All around Australia is an abundant source of energy available for industry, homes and communities.”

Douglas Hunt
Managing Director, MAKO Tidal Turbines
Copyright © 2020 Australian Ocean Energy Group, All rights reserved.

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