Europeans cofund 8 ocean energy demonstrations

Illustration/D10 tidal turbine recently deployed by French company Sabella (Photo: Sabella)

The Ocean Energy ERA-NET (OCEANERA-NET) Cofund consortium has allocated €8 million to eight research and demonstration projects in the marine energy sector.

The projects, resulting from the Cofunded Joint Call 2017, will test and validate new technologies for wave, tidal and ocean thermal energy production.

The eight funded projects include SEABLADE, led by Irish company EireComposites, that will cover systematic evaluation and analysis of blades for a 2MW floating tidal energy converter.

Scottish tidal energy developer Orbital Marine Power is leading a team investigating targeted optimal pitch module for floating tidal energy under the TOPFLOTE project. OCEANERA-NET Cofund money will also be used for investigations into competitive foundations for tidal turbines under the CF2T project, led by the French-based tidal company Sabella.

Combining the expertise of both tidal and wave energy developers, the UMACK project will see Swedish wave energy developer CorPower Ocean and UK tidal company Sustainable Marine Energy collaborate to develop and demonstrate generic foundation mooring solution that will reduce cost and improve O&M methods.

WEP+ project partners in front of W1 wave energy converter (Photo: Aquatera)

Other wave energy projects funded in this round include SPhorcis – Reshaping eforcis: wave energy converter for offshore small power applications – led by Spanish company Smalle Technologies, and WEP+ project which unites partners from Spain and France.

The project focused on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) has also received support from OCEANERA-NET Cofund initiative – made possible by the cooperation between eight national and regional government agencies under European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program.

The project is named INNOTEX – Innovative Thermal Exchangers – and will see French company Naval Energie collaborate with Spanish partner to validate the performance of an innovative heat exchanger technology.

Resource characterization to reduce the cost of energy through coordinated data enterprise by creating an integrated marine data toolbox is being advanced through RESOURCECODE scheme, led by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC).

The toolbox will enable developers of ocean energy devices and arrays, and their suppliers, to make optimized technical and commercial decisions.

The total grant funding approved for companies and research organizations involved in projects is €7.8 million – €2.6 million will come from the European Union as co-funding with the national and regional funding organizations participating in the project.

Second Call for Projects to be launched early 2019

The OCEANERA-NET consortium has also announced that it will be running a second joint call for projects, due to open in early 2019.

Matthijs Soede, Research Policy Officer at the European Commission, said: “It is great to see national and regional funding organizations working together to help the ocean energy sector.

“In this way developers can work easier together with international suppliers and research institutes. Cooperation is important to bring the sector to the market.”

The regional funding organizations, taking part in the OCEANERA-NET Cofund initiative, include Scottish Enterprise, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the Swedish Energy Agency, Region Pays de la Loire, Region Bretagne, and Centro Para el Desarrollo Technologico Industrial (Spain).

The projects are just getting started and over the next three years will develop, test and validate new technologies and approaches which will contribute to lowering the cost of energy and accelerating the commercialization of the sector, according to project consortium.

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