Marine Renewables Canada has made a strategic decision to grow its focus by officially including offshore wind energy in its mandate.
Marine Renewables Canada is a national association for wave, tidal and river current energy, representing technology and project developers, utilities, researchers, and the energy and marine supply chain. Since 2004, the association has worked to identify and foster collaborative opportunities, provide information and education, and represent the best interests of the sector to advance the development of a marine renewable energy industry in Canada.
The association says Canada has the longest coastlines in the world, giving it huge potential for offshore wind energy development. In addition, Canada has significant capabilities from offshore and marine industries to contribute to offshore wind energy projects. Thus, according to the association, the global offshore wind energy industry 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,” says 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.”
Marine Renewables Canada notes it has recognized that there is significant overlap between offshore wind and wave and tidal energy when it comes to the supply chain, regulatory issues and the operating environment. The association plans to focus on similarities and synergies of the resources in order to advance the sector as a whole and ensure that clean electricity from waves, tides, rivers and offshore wind plays a significant role in Canada’s low-carbon future.
“The federal government’s recent inclusion of offshore renewables in legislation and support for emerging renewable energy technologies are important steps toward building this industry,” adds Elisa Obermann, executive director of Marine Renewables Canada. “There are still challenges to address before we’ll see offshore wind energy development in Canada, but we see a great opportunity to get more involved now, increase our experience and help inform future development.”