New study: offshore aquaculture as a market for ocean renewable energy

This report defines co-location as the sharing of marine space between aquaculture and ocean renewable energy (ORE) as well as ORE providing power to aquaculture operations.

New study: offshore aquaculture as a market for ocean renewable energy

A new study published April 2022 by IEA-OES “Offshore Aquaculture: a Market for Ocean Renewable Energy” helps to provide a picture of the energy requirements worldwide for the aquaculture sector.

The report reviews ocean renewable energy technologies and their application for offshore aquaculture; provides information on energy demands from aquaculture operations around the world; highlights 12 case studies and lessons learned, exploring marine-based aquaculture projects that have used ocean energy, solar photovoltaic, offshore wind technologies, or hybrid solutions to meet energy demands of aquaculture.

The report also discusses the opportunities and challenges for co-locating ocean renewable energy and offshore aquaculture, associated with technical and operational processes, regulatory processes (including environmental effects and social acceptance), and economic impact, and offers recommendations to advance these industries. The synergistic opportunities for co-located aquaculture and renewable energy can provide a multifunctional use of space and resources, creating opportunities to automate operations for safety and sustainability.

This report commissioned by IEA-OES was prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (BE CRC), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), and OceanPixel Pte. Ltd., with further funding support from the United States Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office, and the BE CRC.

OES Chairman Yann-Hervé De Roeck says:

“Given the increasing need to derive food from the oceans through aquaculture, and the evidence for this new human activity to be as carbon-free as possible, the potential for direct use of ocean energy for this sector had to be assessed very carefully: this report sheds a very useful and inspiring insight into this issue.”