Marine energy trade association Marine Renewables Canada has made a strategic decision to expand its focus beyond wave and tidal energy by also looking at offshore wind.
Marine Renewables Canada says it has made this decision because of the growing global effort to develop solutions to climate change and increase renewable electricity generation. Another factor is that Canada has particularly strong offshore and ocean resources, with the longest coastlines in the world giving the country a huge offshore wind potential. The country also benefits from significant offshore and marine industries than are suitably placed to contribute to offshore wind development. Given the prediction by the International Renewable Energy Agency in 2016 that the global offshore wind industry will grow by over 650 percent by 2030, this presents new opportunities for Canadian businesses.
“Many of our members working on tidal and wave energy projects also have expertise that can service offshore wind projects both domestically and internationally,” said Tim Brownlow, chair of Marine Renewables Canada. “For us, offshore wind is a natural fit and our involvement will help ensure that Canadian companies and researchers are gaining knowledge and opportunities in the offshore wind sector as it grows.”
Elisa Obermann, executive director of Marine Renewables Canada, added that the Canadian federal government’s recent inclusion of offshore renewables in legislation and support for emerging renewable energy technologies are important steps toward building the industry. There are still challenges to be addressed before a Canadian offshore wind sector can emerge, but Marine Renewables Canada sees a great opportunity to get involved now, increase its experience and help to inform future development.