What is marine renewable energy?
Humanity can depend on the resources of the ocean to satisfy its needs.
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Humanity can depend on the resources of the ocean to satisfy its needs: food, health, habitat, employment, transport, recreation, energy, which we can translate as services rendered. The value of these services is estimated at over $20.9 trillion per year.
The future of mankind lies in the ocean!
The ocean also plays an essential role in regulating the climate through its capacity to absorb carbon. It has absorbed 90% of the excess heat emitted by human activities and nearly 30% of carbon dioxide emissions.
However, the ocean can also be used to produce energy that is renewable and an alternative to fossil fuels.
Marine energies are also called hydrokinetic energies.
Marine renewable energy or MRE refers to all technologies that produce electricity using the resources of the marine environment.
- Thermal energy of the seas (temperature gradient between warm surface waters and deeper cold waters).
- Osmotic energy
- Tidal stream energy
The total theoretical potential of marine energy in the world has been estimated by the International Energy Agency to be between 20,000 and 90,000 TWh/year (as a reference, world electricity consumption is around 16,000 TWh/year). The contribution of each technology to the total potential would be approximately as follows:
- Marine and tidal turbines: between 300 and 800 TWh/year
- Wave turbines: between 8 000 and 80 000 TWh/year
- Ocean thermal energy: close to 10,000 TWh/year
- Osmotic energy: 2 000 TWh/year.
These technologies are still in the research and experimentation phase, but coupled with other forms of renewable energy and a decrease in energy consumption in France, the transition to 100% renewable energy could be possible by 2050.
Several studies are underway to assess the potential of Marine Renewable Energies (MRE) and their impact on the environment.