Marine energy is in its initial phases of development. Forecasts for 2020 indicate that the accumulated capacity in the world will be increased by around 100 MW, which will represent a market that is still small with just a few operational projects grid connected.
Graph 11. Evolution and forecasts of accumulated capacity 2009-2020 - MW
Source: International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Installed capacity in Europe in 2016 was 254MW, 94% of which correspond to a single wave power plant in France. As well as France, the only country that has a significant level of installed capacity is South Korea, the world leader with 260 MW.
The tidal range is the most advanced technological field and represents 97% of installed energy capacity. It is a mature technology that is being installed in plants in countries such as South Korea and China.
The other technologies to exploit ocean wave energy are still in the development, innovation or prototyping phases. Although Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) and Saline Gradient Energy have been part of recent R&D projects, in the last decade major efforts have been made in the development of tidal energy, and to a lesser extent wave technology.
Graph 14. Roadmap of each of the technologies used to exploit ocean energy 2016
Source: Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap – Building Ocean Energy for Europe (European Commission)