Harvesting energy, food and minerals
The Waterborne sector will produce technologies, systems and processes to facilitate further exploration and exploitation of the oceans, seas and inland waters as a source for energy, food and minerals, and to ease their provisional storage and, in time, transport. By 2030, floating wind turbines, tidal turbines and other energy sources (e.g. waves, thermal and salinity) will become technically viable for large scale applications, cost effective for remote areas and will be installed in many European coastal and inland regions or offshore areas. Fixed and floating installations will produce fresh water, while aqua-farming and related bio-technologies will satisfy the demand of the European market. By 2030, the Waterborne sector will have the first deep-sea mining pilot installations available as a basis for future sustainable and reliable industrial operations.
The Waterborne sector will pursue the sustainable utilisation of oceans, seas and rivers that represent vast, but limited, resources. Attentive environmental impact monitoring and priority given to renewable resources will guarantee the “rules of engagement” for further exploitation of natural resources. The concurrent use of oceans, seas and inland waters for traditional maritime activities (e.g. shipping, fisheries, oil & gas and tourism coastal activities) and new large-scale activities (e.g. offshore marine renewable energy, aquaculture, nautical leisure, etc.) will be enabled through Maritime Spatial Planning and Maritime integrated strategies.
The Waterborne sector has identified six key areas as main drivers to unlock sustainable jobs and growth: green Oil & Gas exploration and decommissioning, ocean energy, marine biotechnology, mariculture, waterborne leisure and selected seabed mining. The knowledge and experience gained in the development of oil and gas activities should be transferred to the ocean energy and/or to deep-sea mining sector; innovative technological solutions should be sought to enhance energy conversion, whilst storage, transport and distribution efficiency should be integrated in the emerging marine renewable energy facilities; substructures and/or integrated floating systems need to be developed for installation in deeper waters and harsh marine environmental conditions, etc. Synergies will be developed with solutions for connected and automated Waterborne transport, as well as for connected and automated Waterborne offshore structures.