Annual Report 2014

Collection and exchange of information

Much of the activities of dissemination are conducted within the Annex I - Review, Exchange and Dissemination of Information on Ocean Energy Systems, which is a mandatory Annex of the OES Work Programme, running since the formation of the OES. The objective of this task is to collate, review and facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information on the technical, economic, environmental and social aspects of ocean energy systems.


The Annual Report includes, each year, country reports provided by each member country on ocean energy policies, R&D and technology demonstration. This is intended as the flagship document for OES activities and a marker for industry development. Members ensure that the Annual Report reaches its target audience in the respective countries and its publication is accompanied by a worldwide media release.





The Report Ocean Energy: Review of Supporting Policies, prepared by the end of 2013, under the Annex I, was released in February 2014. In this report, the OES intends to emphasize the range of policy and funding initiatives to promote and accelerate the uptake of ocean energy that its member governments and related organizations have implemented.

This report provides an insight into the diverse ocean energy policies across all member countries, focusing on recent developments. Information on policies which support and have impact on ocean energy development was obtained from the OES member delegates.



The consenting process for ocean energy projects is regarded as a critical barrier for industry and to future progress of the sector. 
Ocean energy projects are relatively new to many regulatory bodies and are often considered under legislation developed for other sectors (e.g. oil & gas or aquaculture), which may not be ideally suited to a new technology such as ocean energy. Consequently, separate consents are often necessary for the marine, terrestrial and electrical elements of a project. There is a general opinion that development activities are stimulated in countries that implement a clear and consistent consenting process for ocean energy. As a way to expedite the consenting process, some countries have attempted to “streamline” their procedures so as to improve their operation. Elsewhere streamlining has culminated in the adoption of a “one stop-shop” approach to administration of the consenting process, for example, Scotland.

Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and Strategic Environmental Assessment have been identified as tools which can support and inform future consenting of ocean energy projects. Some countries are in the process of developing MSP systems and others have already zoned sea areas for marine renewable energy development. The operation of consenting systems will always be influenced to a large extent by national governance structures, given ultimate authority rests primarily with them. Likewise dedicated policies, strategies and incentives for renewable energy introduced by respective governments can have a significant impact on progressing industry development.


The subject of “Permitting and Licensing” was mentioned as one important topic that the ExCo should address. The present Report prepared under the Annex I addresses the following topics:

  • Marine Spatial Planning policies and site selection for ocean energy development
  • Regulatory issues and authorities involved in the consenting process
  • Environmental impact assessment requirements
  • Consultation as part of the licensing process
  • Challenges to the consenting process and streamlined licensing processes