The Global Partnership for Ocean Wave Energy Technology
“Let the oceans look after us.”
Peter Thomson, United Nations Special Envoy for the Ocean – 4 February 2020
A Sustainable Development Multi-Stakeholder Partnership
Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and Partners
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes multi-stakeholder partnerships as vehicles for mobilizing and sharing knowledge, expertise, technologies, and financial resources to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in all countries, particularly developing countries. The Agenda further encourages and promotes effective public, public-private, and stakeholder partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships. Such partnerships are now being re-emphasized as tools to realize the ‘Decade of Action to deliver the Global Goals’ by 2030 as the global community seeks ways to Build Back Better, greener, and more sustainably from the economic and societal ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the spirit of the 17 interlinked SDGs and targets as a blueprint for achieving a sustainable future, and with a focus on SDGs 6, 7, 8, 13, and 14, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and partner SurfWEC LLC are in discussions with Caribbean island and coastal community governments, and other partners to register a new Sustainable Development Multi-Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) on the United Nations Small Island Developing States Action Platform.
It is now universally recognized that renewable energy technologies of all kinds – together- are needed to meet the world’s renewable, carbon-free energy needs.
If it is to contribute to the acceleration of the SDGs, the initiative will require diverse sectors and stakeholders to work in an integrated manner by assembling financial resources, knowledge, and expertise. Envisioned as a cross-sector partnership, SF believes that this MSP is especially suited for approaching the complex challenge posed by climate change and interrelated impacts that go beyond the reach of individual stakeholders.
The Global Partnership for Ocean Wave Energy Technology aims to identify the correct stakeholders, mechanisms, and funding sources required to develop zero-emissions technologies capable of utility-level electrical power generation from ocean waves. While a wide range of ocean wave and tidal-energy capture technologies are reaching maturity, and are welcome to join this initiative, the concept underpinning this partnership is known as SurfWEC – Surf-making Wave Energy Capture. Deployed off-shore and with no anticipated impact on the tourism sector that many island states and coastal communities’ value, SurfWEC is a commercially viable wave energy capture (WEC) technology capable of utility-level electrical power generation. Once captured, that energy can be used to generate electricity for transfer by cable to an on-shore distribution hub for national grids or other land-based or ocean-based energy-intensive applications, but with up to twice the power generation potential of off-shore wind facilities in areas with suitable ocean wave frequency.
While economical as a stand-alone technology, SurfWEC can be co-located with wind power, solar power, tidal power, and battery-storage technology to meet the electric power load demands of a modern power grid. Further, should deployment of the SurfWEC system be realized it offers a pathway to the meaningful reduction of carbon emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere, and to:
- Transform the energy supply of small island states (SIDS) and the coastal communities of other countries, including halving the cost per kilowatt-hour in five years in some areas;
- Diversification of the power grid to reduce outages SIDS and at coastal communities struck by hurricane or cyclone;
- Be a pathway to electrify land and water transport, and various offshore platforms;
- Be a zero-emissions renewable energy source for multiple applications including the desalinization of seawater and the production of industrial hydrogen and oxygen;
- Improvement of ocean health and biodiversity as a reef-like wave farm; and
- A smart-technology ocean-based climate change data capture and monitoring tool that can also ‘learn’ over time to become a severe weather early warning system.
In addition, with the cooperation of governments to train local people in the skills needed to support the technology, the new skilled jobs, and marketable energy products that would result offer the potential for the societal challenge envisioned in the 2030 Agenda.
If you wish to know more about the Global Partnership for Ocean Wave Energy Technology and how to become a partner, please download the Global Partnership for Ocean Wave Energy Technology Concept Note – May 2021 or contact Partnership Leader Charles Nouhan at [email protected].
The Global Partnership Team:
Charles Nouhan (Chairman at Stakeholder Forum) – Partnership Leader [email protected]
Rik F. van Hemmen, P.E. (President, Martin & Ottaway) – Senior Representative to the Partnership [email protected]
- United Nations High-level Political Forum 2020 Side Event: ‘The Role of Oceans as a Sustainable Resource That Can Contribute to the Global Energy Transition’
- Hey UN! Here is your Golden Opportunity for Global Relevance – Musings on the 2020 World Economic Situations and Prospects Report
- SIDS Dialogue, July 2019
- SurfWEC website
- SIDS Action Platform
- Barbados: The Goldilocks Approach to Sustainability, a related blog post by Rik van Hemmen