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Simone, the engineer channeling sea waves

© Simone Meme

Simone Memé began surfing on the shores outside his hometown of Rome when he was 16 years old. Fascinated by the sea, its power and currents, he decides to study environmental engineering with a focus on coastal protection to nurture his passion and  understanding on waves generation.

Some years later after studying the oceans energy on islands such as Tenerife and Hawaii, Simone began specializing on energetic engineering related to the sea. He aimed to contribute to the development of the Marine Energy industry and Islands' sustainability to understand the importance of the sea as a clean and untapped source of energy. 

In 2020, Simone returned to Rome and started working as a full-time researcher at ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), under the supervision of Gianmaria Sannino, Head of the Climate Modelling Laboratory and Impacts, who is also featured in the BLUE FUTURE documentary.
Simone has now moved to the Canary Islands where he is continuing his work on contributing to the decarbonization of islands by implementing renewable technologies and innovative solutions for these delicate environments.

Ocean energy could create 400,000 skilled jobs all along the supply chain in Europe.

© Simone Memé

WHAT IS OCEAN ENERGY?

According to Ocean Energy, in Europe alone, the ocean energy industry plans to deploy 100GW of production capacity by 2050, meeting 10% of electricity demand. That is estimated to be enough to meet the daily electricity needs of 94 million households. 

Deploying 100GW of ocean energy will also mean creating a new industrial sector based firmly in Europe, and 400,000 skilled jobs all along the supply chain. The skills needed to build, install and maintain ocean energy devices can be found and therefore transferred from sectors like shipbuilding, fishing, and ports. For many workers, a new ocean energy industry represents the opportunity to directly transfer their skills from traditional maritime occupations, whilst gaining new knowledge of innovative technologies.
 

THE BENEFITS OF SUSTAINABLE OCEAN ENERGY

  • Contributing to the decarbonisation of our economy
The oceans could be an important source of renewable energy contributing to the achievement of the Paris Agreement. 

Although in Europe the availability of marine energy resources is highest along the Atlantic coast, it has been recognized that the Mediterranean Sea offers important opportunities for both energy production and technological development. 

The Mediterranean is mainly favored by the specific characteristics of such a basin, where milder climatic conditions allow the affordable testing of devices and stimulate the design of particularly efficient technologies for energy harvesting. 

Moreover, the accentuated vulnerability of the Mediterranean environment demands consequential efforts to be undertaken in order to promote the development of innovative technologies capable of supporting the energy independence and sustainability of particularly exposed habitats, ecosystems, and social communities, such as those located in small isolated islands, thus providing new adaptation/mitigation options to the Earth’s changing climate as well as a new solution for pollution reduction.  

At the same time, Ecosystem-based Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) should be used to ensure that ocean energy infrustructures are not deployed in areas with habitats, species or ecological processes that are likely to be particularly sensitive to these impacts, whether during construction or operation.
 
  • Supporting sustainable economic development and job creation 
In the marine energy sector, Italy has made important steps forward in both research and device implementation, and it has by now acquired a prominent position among the international insiders. Targeted policy interventions and investment could now fully disclose the potential offered by the marine energy sector in terms of economic development, high-skilled job creation, and strategic positioning of the Italian industry in the competitive global market.

Oceans could be an important source of renewable energy contributing to the achievement of the Paris Agreement.

© Anton VORAUER / WWF