Offshore renewable energy could surge into a $100 billion industry in Canada in the next ten years, powering a domestic "blue economy" of more than twice that market value, the head of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC), a maritime industry-led group, said on Monday.

Kendra MacDonald, speaking in Ottawa at the launch of three new OSC-backed projects, said the "significant opportunity of scaled offshore renewable energy" would drive the future industrial transformation of ocean areas off both coasts through more sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and the health of ocean ecosystems — in other words, a "blue economy."

On the back of recent progress in Nova Scotia, however, she says it needs acceleration.

"Offshore wind and other marine renewables represent a significant opportunity — you can see the strides Nova Scotia is already making in this space," MacDonald told Canada’s National Observer.

"We think this will make our target of growing our ocean economy to $220 billion by 2035 possible,” she said, adding that offshore renewables need a boost as the world recognizes the potential for offshore wind in the energy transition.

“We mustn't underestimate the speed at which we need to move to capitalize on this,” she added.

According to OSC figures, the ocean economy currently employs more than 425,000 Canadians. The transition of energy, shipping, maritime transport and fisheries sectors to blue economy markets would generate "tens of thousands of new, well-skilled jobs,” MacDonald said.

Nova Scotia is aiming to advance five gigawatts of offshore wind leases off its coastline by 2030 under a process that could begin later this year. Newfoundland & Labrador, meanwhile, reached a deal with Ottawa late last year that empowers the province to take the regulatory lead on offshore wind projects within its inland bays.

Many offshore projects actually start onshore, MacDonald noted, citing as one example World Energy GH2's $12 billion Nujio’qonik hydrogen project in Newfoundland, which in later phases will move from being run from land-based wind farms to offshore developments.

Offshore renewables could "definitely" power a $220B Canadian ocean economy by 2035, says marine industry group. #climate #energy #renewables #offshorewind

Everwind Fuels has a similar multi-phase project underway in Nova Scotia.

MacDonald said offshore renewables are at the heart of a wider blue economy bonanza taking shape globally. The OECD suggests ocean economies will double in size between 2016 and 2030 to $4 trillion globally.

Canada's ocean industries already contribute $52 billion a year to the country's gross domestic product, and growth into a $220 billion ocean economy is "definitely achievable," she said.

"Growth of the world's ocean economy is set to outpace the broader global economy by 20 per cent by 2030. We believe that this is an enormous opportunity for Canada and for us to sell 'Made in Canada' ocean technologies to the world," said MacDonald.

The OSC is focusing on "supply chain, infrastructure and regulatory environments" to support this expansion through its "Ambition 2035" initiative, unveiled in 2022.

"These are the key pieces — and these are all cross-cutting areas for development in advancing Canada's offshore energy transition,” MacDonald said, adding that Canada needs to be quick to take full advantage of "the speed around the world with which some of these [industries], including energy, are changing, and new technologies are being introduced."

On Monday, the OSC launched its latest tranche of industry acceleration funding, totalling more than $14 million and expanding its portfolio to include more than 100 projects.

The Canadian Electric Propulsion Acceleration Coalition secured $7 million to help commercialize a domestic electric boat manufacturing supply chain in Atlantic Canada.

The Verifying Ocean Climate Impacts Project landed $5 million to explore the impact of large-scale kelp farming on "carbon fixation, biodiversity, and ocean health," while the Optimizing Maritime Supply Chain Operations Project won $2.2 million to study maritime sector efficiency and sustainability.

"Domestic opportunities will bolster SMEs like the ones supported by projects such as those announced today to help them achieve international market success," said MacDonald.

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At the root of climate change, catastrophic biodiversity loss, and so much of what is imperilling us and our biosphere is our unwillingness to address this addiction to a growth growth growth economy. Environmental organizations and publications like this one have become such enthusiastic cheerleaders, apparently without considering the consequences. Raging growth in mining, fields and oceans converted to so-called clean/green energy, more destruction, more pollution...these are not solutions, these will simply compound our self-induced environmental and social crises. We need to get used to less, not more.

I don't exactly disagree, but I do sometimes wonder what people really mean by this kind of position. So, does your plan involve zero electricity generation and abandoning the computer you typed that comment on? Or if it does not involve that, then do you want to keep fossil fuels but just use slightly less of them?

Degrowth is fine, but I think it needs to be compatible with everyone not having to become medieval peasants, and it still needs to stop the use of fossil fuels. That means that yes, we continue having technology, which means yes, there will still be electricity generation, which means that yes, we will need to make solar panels and wind power. Not as much as if we embraced a growth economy, but still a lot more than we have now. Chatter about "but mining!" fails to grapple with what is actually going on (and also fails to grapple with the fact that continued use of fossil fuels involves MUCH MORE mining).

I'm impressed by degrowth when people backing it understand what the genuine implications are and are not. It does NOT imply that we can skip the energy transition. And, it DOES imply the end of capitalism; you cannot have capitalism without growth, capitalism IS the growth engine and cannot do anything but grow. There is no such thing as "kind of like how things are now, just with degrowth"--degrowth requires a fundamentally different economy, probably a socialist one in some form or other, but certainly one where the basic "private individual invests to make a profit so they can invest the profit to make more profit" endless growth loop is not a significant thing in the economy.

Good response to a rather naive position, which was expressed using a computer full of metal and plastic connected to a vast internet. Electrifying everything and recycling everything will address many of these anti- modern age views.

Maintaining the status quo of fossil fuel based energy production will be catastrophic for the planet. Renewable energy generation has it's own set of problems but they are far less harmful and their negative consequences can be significantly mitigated through evolving technology. Consuming less is also becoming part of the lifestyle of younger generations.

This article appears to be little more than a minor restatement of a press release.

What is the "ocean economy"? Is the expansion of the Roberts Bank port south of Vancouver a part of the "ocean economy"? Open net, ocean-based fish farms? Seabed resource extraction?

It seems to me that CNO continues to accept, uncritically and unquestioned, proponent statements.

Poilevire (however it is spelled) says to fight climate change with technology not taxes. Does anyone think he would support this technological way to do it? I don't.

No, he only means carbon capture - in order to keep the status quo on oil production. That is probably the extent of his intent.

Pierre Poilievre's middle name is Pipeline. PPP.

No, I think he'd also be willing to sink a few billion into nuclear reactors, ideally SMRs that never end up getting built, just to try to shut everyone up so they don't ask for stuff that actually works.

My take on this topic is decidedly optimistic. Despite part of the the article's take on growth, but this can also lead to a necessary discussion about quickly decarbonizing our existing economy and switching out the bad parts that support mass consumerism, being ready with an alternative source of energy to apply its revenue to the overall costs of the transition, and improving our state of readiness when the revenues from fossil fuels start spiralling down.

I believe there is enough energy in offshore wind alone off the east coast to power Eastern Canada. Of course, that would be toned down by the existing predominance of hydro. Ditto off the coast of BC in Hecate Strait. How? Through deepwater floating wind turbines.

The UK is going head on into offshore wind and it has resulted in a massive drop in its emissions. The same is starting to ramp up in other Northern European countries.

Sometimes having a good think on topics like this can be illuminating:

Here is a link to a wealth of scholarly articles on floating offshore wind:

Upgrades in capacity to transmission lines, building banks of storage batteries, net metering and so forth are chapters in the same book.