MEMBER NEWS: New insurance fund to accelerate ocean energy’s roll-out

February 23, 2021
MEMBER NEWS: New insurance fund to accelerate ocean energy’s roll-out

The design of a brand-new European insurance fund for the ocean energy sector is underway, to slash the costs of the first commercial projects and accelerate the roll-out of this exciting new industry. Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) has appointed risk and insurance consultancy, Renewable Risk Advisers (Renewable Risk), to carry out the work as part of the EU-funded OceanSET project.

A well-designed insurance fund will mitigate the early risks of innovative ocean energy projects, for which investors typically demand returns of 10-12%. Access to project finance is a significant obstacle for wave and tidal developers, looking to leverage equity and crack a €53bn per annum global market.

De-risking projects through an insurance fund can act as a ‘golden ticket’ for the scale-up of ocean energy. By enabling more projects to reach financial close, this will generate the operational data and experience necessary to meet the needs of insurers, lenders, and equity investors.

The wave and tidal energy sector is set for a significant jump in installed capacity. The European Commission will coordinate with national governments to fund 100MW of ocean energy by 2025, and 1GW by 2030. In the UK, the government has signalled a strong interest in ring-fencing 100MW exclusively for ocean energy, in its forthcoming ‘Contracts for Difference’ auctions. And European developers continue to build out new projects in Canada, Indonesia, Japan and elsewhere.

Renewable Risk have consulted with the ocean energy industry, and are now discussing with insurers, lenders and equity investors. The final report, detailing the fund’s design, is due in Spring 2021. OEE and Renewable Risk will then work with financial stakeholders and funders to make the fund a reality.

Policy Director at Ocean Energy Europe, Donagh Cagney, commented: “This report is arriving at just the right moment. The sector’s scale-up has already begun, and instruments such as the insurance fund will be crucial to further accelerate this growth. Ocean energy will play a key role in decarbonisation, and so speed is of the essence.”

Project Manager for the work, Renewable Risk Director, Joe Hulm, said: “This fund will help bridge the gap between insurance and project finance, the end goal being scale-up through a cheaper cost of capital. Ocean energy can pioneer this approach to reaching Net Zero, where insurance is enabling innovation.”

OceanSET project lead, Patricia Comiskey, said: “It is great to see this work being progressed by OEE and Renewable Risk. This is one of the key financial actions identified in the SET Plan for Ocean Energy and will be a significant step to help remove hurdles for the ocean energy industry.”

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise