New wave of ocean-based energy projects unveiled

With the Ocean Energy Europe 2021 event underway, the EuropeWave project has announced the successful tenderers in its innovative Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process.

Following a strong response to the initial call for tenders, seven successful project teams have been selected by a panel of independent experts, and will share a budget of €2.4 million to further develop their wave energy device concepts in the first half of 2022.

The EuropeWave project, a five-year collaborative R&D funding programme, is a partnership between Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and the Basque Energy Agency (EVE). Match-funded by the European Commission via its Horizon2020 programme, this transnational collaboration will channel almost €20 million to procure the most promising wave energy technology solutions from developers across Europe and beyond.

It is hoped that this approach will foster greater openness, collaboration, and sharing of risk between the public sector and technology developers through three key elements: a PCP funding model; structured innovation – a stage-gated industrial development process; and, internationally agreed performance standards and metrics.

The programme’s overarching challenge is the design, development, and demonstration of the cost-effective wave energy converter (WEC) systems for electrical power production that can survive in the harsh and unpredictable ocean environment.

The seven successful projects, subject to contract, are: The Waveram; Blue Horizon 250; MARMOK Atlantic; ACHIEVE; emWave; Trimaran; and Sea-Saw WEC.

Following the completion of the first stage, five most promising technologies will then be selected to progress to a second phase, where project teams will undertake more extensive design, modelling, and testing. The final phase of EuropeWave will select three devices for testing in real sea conditions off the coasts of the Basque Country and Scotland in 2025.

Cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport, Michael Matheson, said: “Scotland is ideally-placed to be at the forefront of the global market for marine energy. The Scottish Government has long supported the sector – not least through Wave Energy Scotland, which continues to help the sector grow and develop through its world-renowned funding programme.

“The EuropeWave project demonstrates Scotland’s desire to collaborate with European partners to drive forward our shared aims and objectives towards green energy, and I look forward to seeing this project support and further develop this technology on our journey to a net zero economy.”

Basque minister for economic development, sustainability and environment, Arantxa Tapia, added: “This project is an ideal platform for collaboration between regions to promote a new sector that contributes to the energy transition in Europe, creating a new economy and employment for our citizens.  It sets a good example of how things should be at every interregional EU level.”

Remi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, commented: “Awarding the most promising solutions from a sea of emerging technologies is essential to gain investor confidence and kickstart this new industry. EuropeWave aims to support technologies that prove themselves and propel them to the commercial stage. It will path the way towards a carbon-neutral future.”

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