The EU is proposing to spend hundreds of millions of euros to help the budding ocean energy industry to provide a tenth of the bloc’s power by 2050. The boost would take the form of a €250m investment fund, with an additional €70m set aside for insurance, loans and guarantees, according to the roadmap for channelling the potential of wave and tidal energy.

The money would be supplied by the EU and its member states and should work as a buffer for companies that are attempting to cross the “valley of death” between demonstration projects and the energy market. “It is a comprehensive, inclusive and ambitious plan for building up ocean energy in Europe – from the initial R&D all the way to the industrial roll-out,” said the EU’s environment commissioner, Karmenu Vella, at a launch meeting in Brussels.

Rémi Gruet, the CEO of trade group Ocean Energy Europe, said: “Bridging the gap between risk-averse commercial lenders and public authorities with limited budgets requires rethinking project finance. The roadmap proposes just that, solutions fit for the purpose of reducing risk and unlocking capital: milestone-bound grant awards, guarantees and insurance.”

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