According to the duties fixed by the Kyoto protocol on global climate changes, renewable energies should significantly contribute to the harmful gases reduction. The European Union Directive has established the objective of renewable energy quote increase from the 6% of year 1997 to a 12% in year 2010.
Extend the renewable energies development is one of the main goals of the World Bank. The onshore renewable sources may supply an essential contribution which can be drastically increased if marine renewable energies (offshore) are considered.
In some cases, the marine sources technologies reached a good development level (wind, waves, currents, temperature gradient, solar), while other sources (geothermal, salinity gradient, biomass) have not been properly studied yet.
The grid-connected offshore wind plants capacity, still in demonstration status, has reached a nominal power of about 5 GW in the North European seas. Other offshore wind plants of thousands MW power have been proposed or are about for being installed.
In the offshore sites, generally characterized by meaningful wind regimes and high waves, the marine electric energy market may rapidly progress.
The high impact of the deep-water offshore wind in and its low visual impact is an option for the wind energy future.
In the forthcoming years the onshore renewable energies competitiveness will be reached, in particular for the big size units and for the electric energy plants, in deep water also.
The offshore wind turbine technology shows a fast evolution for the fixed foundations. The offshore floating platforms are in the feasibility study phase and the estimated installation costs are still high.
The Marine Renewable Energy Platforms (MAREPs) may be employed as integrated system of all the arising marine renewable energies (wind, wave, photovoltaic solar,...) with a cost decrease and an electric energy generation field and hydrogen sources increase.
OWEMES European Seminars
OWEMES organized in Italy seven editions of the European seminar:
After the edition of year 2003, mainly focused on offshore wind, OWEMES 2006 for the first time included all the marine renewable energies topics: the offshore wind, and the emerging sources like waves, currents, tides, and the new sources like the salinity gradient, marine geothermal and biomass.
The aim was to point out a specific and updated examination of the activities in process and to outline information exchange programmes and to promote cooperation on the promising marine renewable energy applications sector among European, Mediterranean and other worldwide countries.
OWEMES 2012 is the most recent European seminar held in Italy.