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Ocean Energy in Canada: Pathways to Commercialization

Case Study Project Problem

The Ocean Research Energy Group had recently formed as a group of technology developers eager to contribute to Canada’s alternative energy effort. They had been having trouble making the case for growing this industry and receiving support from the Canadian Federal Government. Industry Canada wanted to open a dialog and provide some resources for the group in terms of education about commercialization, knowledge about funding sources and increased understanding of what the government needs to see from the group.


The Pathways to Commercialization Workshop which brought together stakeholders from industry, utilities and Industry Canada has been exploring whether there is sufficient merit to build an industry and aid the commercialization of Ocean Energy in Canada. They engaged Lorraine Rieger through the Centre for Sustainable Communities to determine where the funding might come from for commercialization, provide a status report on ocean energy research and commercialization around the world and facilitate an invitation-only forum to educate all stakeholders about the opportunities, road blocks and needed resources. The goal was to open up a collaborative dialog and determine next steps.

Building on the momentum developing in British Columbia’s Ocean Energy sector, this first ever meeting of Canada-wide stakeholders took an in-depth look at how private and public sector financing and funding programs can foster the development of these exciting technologies. Key discussions and analysis will took place examining the strategic constraints while attempting to gain various perspectives for charting the course ahead for this emerging sector.


The assignment entailed researching worldwide funding sources for ocean, wave and tidal renewable energy technologies. This data was analyzed to determine the kinds of projects that were getting funded. Then the team developed a path to commercialization road map and combined the research to build a picture of the kinds of resources available at each stage of the map.

By recruiting 20 speakers from government, industry and academia around the world, we conducted a workshop to deliver this knowledge and facilitate a discussion of how developers could help themselves by working together to develop the ocean and renewable energy industry in Canada. The workshop was complemented with a searchable database to help technology developers understand which investors were funding ocean renewable energy around the world.

Industry Canada has now moved to the next step and has commissioned a study to determine the economic constraints, current value chain and opportunities available in Canada to support the development of an ocean, tidal and wave energy industry.