Session 3.1: Harnessing the Oceans

June 9th, 2020

Description: Small island states are big ocean states. Sustainable harnessing of this vast resource supports economic growth and provides livelihoods and revenues beyond fishing licenses and vessel-day schemes. This session looked at marine clean energy production with multiple co-benefits: wave plus solar energy for a small island in Vietnam; marine solar for production of hydrogen, ammonia and methanol; and floating solar with aquaculture for energy and food security. Panelists talked about tidal energy and ADB’s Healthy Oceans Initiative. This was where the green economy and the blue economy meet the hydrogen economy.

Moderator: Samuel Tumiwa, Advisor, Fragile & Conflict-Affected Situations, Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Scene-Setter Talk: Ingrid van Wees, Vice President (Finance and Risk Management), Asian Development

Wave Energy in An Binh: Blueprint for Climate Resilient Islands
Presenter: Minh Duc Duong, Business Development Manager, INGINE Inc.

An Binh, a small Vietnamese island, relies heavily on diesel generators for electricity during the 4-month rainy season. Locals are familiar with renewable energy, as they use a solar energy system. However, when the sun does not shine, the remote island’s climate and economic resilience is hampered by dependence on fossil fuels and oil price fluctuation. Harnessing marine power using a patented wave energy converter is Korean company INGINE’s solution to this issue. More predictable, waves complement solar in providing clean and stable energy for An Binh year-round. The technology is part of a bigger picture for the islet, which aims to become “Carbon-free”: Vietnamese and Korean companies and authorities have teamed up in a 5-party initiative to increase local renewable energy capacity, improve energy storage and promote electric transport. Besides protecting inhabitants from diesel pollution, the project is meant to encourage local economic development, including tourism. In the future, some of the island's wave energy capacity may provide An Binh's desalination facilities with clean energy, transforming local water supply into a sustainable cycle. An Binh's approach to smart energy supply offers a blueprint for other remote islands to achieve energy independence and reinforce local development thanks to renewable natural resources.

MASH UP:  Marine solar-to-hydrogen / Unlimited Potential
Presenter: Nick Lambert, NLA Ltd.

Creating a truly sustainable hydrogen economy is conceptually simple: use surplus renewable energy to produce H2, ammonia (NH3), methanol, etc. (“energy to X”), and sell into existing global supply chains. Offshore renewable energy, starting with solar and wind, is an obvious option for many of ADB’s member countries due to the upward scalability. Ocean “energy to X” can be thought of as a mining industry which is circular rather than linear, and which is truly sustainable and renewable. The “secret” to competitive hydrogen production costs is in the form of advanced market commitments from buyers which anchor the upstream investment in renewable energy and hydrogen production, similar to traditional LNG export development. Based on current system costs, 1000 MW of marine-solar to hydrogen should be possible with much less than $ 5 billion investment (walkin' around money for people like Bezos, Buffet, and Gates). The countries and industrial partners who “go big” on green hydrogen will own the future.

Ocean Sun – A Unique Solution to Floating Solar
Presenter: Are Gloersen, Director of Asia, Ocean Sun Pte Ltd

Ocean Sun is a technology provider for floating PV systems and markets a proprietary technology based on photovoltaic modules mounted on a hydro-elastic membrane. The certified and robust platform minimizes the use of materials and enables direct cooling of the PV cells increasing the power output. Ocean Sun has since 2017 operated several pilot and demonstration facilities in Europe and Asia.


  • William “Trey” Taylor, Co-founder & Chief Commercial Officer, Verdant Power, Inc.
  • Deborah Robertson, Environmental Specialist, Asian Development Bank (ADB)