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Research and innovation

Ocean energy

Why the EU supports ocean energy research and innovation

Ocean energy is abundant and renewable. It can play an important role in the energy mix as it is very predictable, contributing substantial value to the energy system. The main forms of ocean energy are waves, tides, marine currents, salinity gradient and temperature gradient.

Under the right conditions, ocean energy could contribute around 10% of EU power demand by 2050.

The technologies to capture ocean energy are at different stages of development in Europe.


Over the past ten years, tidal stream and wave devices - on different scales - have been tested in European waters. However, only a few examples can be found today of ocean energy systems in operation.

Considerable progress is needed - in research, development, demonstration and validation of the technology - for this sector to realise its potential contribution to energy supply, industrial leadership, economic growth and mitigation of climate change.

In particular, progress is needed in design and validation of ocean energy devices, balance of plant (supporting components and auxiliary systems), logistics and marine operations, integration in the energy system, and modelling tools.

Knowledge about the potential impacts of devices on the environment also needs to improve.

What the EU is doing

The EU has supported ocean energy research and development for many years through funding projects. Their focus has been on demonstrating the reliability of ocean technologies and their capacity to survive in aggressive sea conditions, thereby reducing the risk for project developers and investors.

EU support also aims to make ocean energy cost competitive with other technologies and demonstrate its market potential.

Research and Innovation to boost the development of offshore renewable energy (Factsheet)

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

Calls for proposal on energy related themes in Horizon Europe and information on the work programme.

NER 300 programme

Funding for innovative low-carbon technology research with focus on environmentally safe Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy technologies


The LIFE Programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

Projects and results

Horizon Magazine

Latest news, interviews and features about thought-provoking science and innovative research projects funded by the EU.

Horizon Results Platform

Platform where framework programme participants present their results for you to search, contact their owners, and form partnerships.

Horizon 2020 dashboard

Access to real-time programme data with the ability to filter by country, region, theme and more

Collaboration and jobs

Scientific publications, tools and databases

Scientific publications

Scientific energy research publications published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC)

EU Open Data Portal

Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions - all data free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes


You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE