Magazine article The Futurist

Europe's Blue Future: Offshore Energy

Magazine article The Futurist

Europe's Blue Future: Offshore Energy

Article excerpt

The Marine Board of the European Science Foundation presented a report at the EurOCEAN2010 conference that details how Europe could get half of its electricity from renewable marine resources by 2050. The plan entails researching and developing innovative ways to harness energy from offshore wind, tides, and ocean currents, as well as marine biofuels such as algae.

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The report, entitled "Marine Renewable Energy: Research Challenges and Opportunities for a New Energy Era in Europe," points to the fact that the EU currently imports more than half of its energy and that this amount is projected to increase if current trends are unchanged.

In making its case, the Marine Board highlights potential economic benefits, such as job creation and new business opportunities--which were dubbed "blue jobs" and "blue growth" at the conference. The Board's projections show that "by 2050, the Renewable Ocean Energy sector could provide 470,000 jobs, which corresponds to ten to twelve jobs (direct and indirect) created per megawatt installed."

Developing the technology means developing new bodies of knowledge in fields ranging from engineering to ecology. It also entails crafting innovative legislation to help facilitate it. …

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