Map 7 - Marine Renewables
The North-East Atlantic Ocean region has some of the world’s greatest potential for marine renewable energy across wave, tidal and offshore wind. The latter of these has seen the most development in recent years, piggybacking off earlier research and development into land-based wind technology. This can be seen in the breakdown of different marine renewable generation types with the offshore wind energy sector dominating both the amount and growth of the installed marine renewable capacity in the Atlantic Area member states as shown below. Since the implementation of the Atlantic Area Action Plan in 2014 that aimed to accelerate the deployment of sustainable offshore renewable energy, there has been a growth of nearly 87% in installed marine renewable capacity in Atlantic Area member states.
However, the rollout in renewable energy has not equally distributed across Atlantic Area member states. Instead, one former member state, the United Kingdom has dominated the growth in offshore renewable energy as shown below. This means with Brexit, that previous benchmarks on the levels of marine renewable energy capacity in the Atlantic Area will need to be lowered to circa 270 MW with the two main installations in 2018 being the French tidal barrier in La Rance (240 MW) and the Irish offshore windfarm in the Arklow Bank (25 MW).
As shown from the graph above the United Kingdom dominates both the growth and the installed marine renewable energy generation capacity in the period 2013 to 2018. The maps below show both growths during this period and where capacity was located in 2018. Both maps show that both capacity and growth in capacity, while located mainly in the United Kingdom is further concentrated into two regions. The first of these regions is in the North Irish Sea, north of Wales and South of Cumbria while the second region is along the coast of England in the North Sea. Also highlighted in the growth map, is the location of regions in France and Portugal where minus 100% growth has taken place indicating the removal of some small pilot or demonstration marine renewable projects. The main story for the future of marine renewables in the EU Atlantic Area is that installed capacity is starting from a smaller base relative to the pre Brexit period with areas of likely focus for future development on the Irish side of the Irish Sea and in the Bay of Biscay.