European Commission urges better use of ocean energy | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.01.2014
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European Commission urges better use of ocean energy

The European Commission announced that an action plan would help in using ocean energy to a much larger extent. Brussels said it would play a vital role in reducing the bloc's dependence on resources from outside the EU.

Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said Monday that the EU's executive body would double its efforts to make increased use of ocean energy become an integral part of the bloc's environmental and economic policies.

"Ocean energy has a huge potential to enhance our energy supply security," he said in a statement, adding that an action plan would help develop technologies that could be used industrially.

Oettinger said a special forum would be set up to build up capacities and foster innovations as well as remove current obstacles ranging from energy generation costs and insufficient port infrastructure.

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On its homepage, the European Commission announced that it had estimated that 0.1 percent of the energy in ocean waves could be capable of supplying the entire world's energy requirements five times over.

The process involces the conversion of tidal energy into electricity comparable to the technology used in hydroelectric power plants.

It also embraces more complicated methods, among them the generation of electricity from the difference of temperature between cold deep seawaters and warm shallow waters, as well as profiting from a pressure difference resulting from different gradients of salinity.

hg/mkg (dpa, AFP)

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