The ocean covers more than 71% of the earth and can be a vast source of energy. Marine renewable energy potential has been heavily researched, developed and demonstrated mainly in developed countries in North America and Europe.
Marine renewable energy is a relatively new industry, especially in Southeast Asia. The drive towards renewable energy in the region stems from the following factors: first, the demand for electricity is expected to exceed supply; second, a high percentage of the population in more rural communities do not have access to electricity; and third, the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions is spurring different countries to find a sustainable alternative to energy demands.
There are several marine renewable energy projects in the early stages of the project life cycle in Indonesia (such as the BUMWI tidal power project), but the Singapore Tidal Energy Demonstration Project is one of the region’s early adopters of this technology and will further showcase the capabilities of this form of energy generation. It is our hope that, should the project succeed, marine renewable energy can be one of the sustainable energy candidates contributing to a more of renewable energy mix in Southeast Asia.
Envirotek, OceanPixel and all the stakeholders involved in this project strongly believe that the primarily new form of marine renewable energy could be the best way forward for Southeast Asia’s renewable energy needs. The use of marine renewable energy in the region is ideal as it is composed of islands surrounded by large bodies of water. Countries here have been dependent on fossil fuels for many years, with varying degrees of success in providing reliable energy to its population. Marine renewable energy could be the solution for reliable and cost-efficient energy supply to Southeast Asia.
Although areas without access to electricity could be targeted through electric grid extension or dedicated off-grid solutions, the region’s geography means it could maximise marine renewable energy to target these remote areas. Although several government agencies in Southeast Asia are advocating the development of marine renewable energy by enacting policies and feed-in tariffs, it is only recently that technological developments have made it possible for marine renewable energy to be a viable option.