At an event held during the Ocean Energy Europe Conference 2018, the Ocean Energy ERA-NET Cofund (OCEANERA-NET COFUND) consortium announced €8 million funding for eight ocean energy research and demonstration projects. These projects will test and validate new technologies for wave, tidal and ocean thermal energy production.
The overall aims of OCEANERA-NET COFUND are to maintain and grow Europe’s world leading position in ocean energy, to help bring innovative low carbon energy solutions closer to commercial deployment, drive down the levelised cost of energy (LCoE), create growth and jobs and reduce the environmental impact of these energy system.
Announcement of the Funded Project from the 2017 Joint Call
The results of 2017 Joint Call, funded by OCEANERA-NET COFUND partners and the European Commission, were publicly announced at the Ocean Energy Europe Confernce 2018 by Scottish Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands at the Scottish Government, Paul Wheelhouse.
Matthijs Soede, Research Policy Officer at the European Commission said: “It is great to see national and regional funding organisations 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 total grant funding approved for companies and research organisations involved in projects is €7.8 million ; €2.6 million will come from the European Union as co-funding to the support from the national and regional funding organisations. These organisations include the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Scottish Enterprise, the Swedish Energy Agency, Region Pays de la Loire (France), Region Bretagne (France) and Centro Para el Desarrollo Technologico Industrial (Spain).
Over the next three years the projects will develop, test and validate new technologies and approaches which will contribute to lowering the cost of energy and accelerating the commercialisation of the sector. Of the eight projects, three involve Irish partners, with total grants of €527,000 made up of funding from the European Union and the Irish Government. The eight projects announced at the Ocean Energy Europe Conference 2018 are:
SEABLADE - Systematic evaluation and analysis of blades for a 2mw floating tidal energy converter – Led by Irish company ÉireComposites, working with the National University of Ireland Galway and Scottish tidal developer Orbital Marine Power. This project will accelerate the development of a commercial-ready, cost-effective tidal blade products which will be tested on a two mega watt Orbital Marine Power turbine. This project will gather test data to validate the 20-year design life of the blades. This will result in more reliable tidal turbine blades which will reduce maintenance costs and increases the devices productivity.
TOPFLOTE - Targeted Optimal Pitch module for Floating Tidal Energy - Led by Scottish tidal energy developer Orbital Marine Power in partnership with Swedish supply chain company AB SKF. This project will design, fabricate and test a blade pitch regulation module for floating tidal generation units. Two units will be incorporated for performance testing into Orbital Marine Power’s upcoming floating 2MW tidal turbine. Integration of a two-bladed pitch system module will enable optimal performance of the drive-train and deliver a number of cost benefits.
RESOURCECODE - Resource characterisation to reduce the cost of energy through coordinated data enterprise – Led by the Orkney based European Marine Energy Centre, working with SmartBay Ireland and University College Dublin and including other partners from France and Scotland. This project aims to create an integrated marine data toolbox that will enable developers of ocean energy devices and arrays, and their suppliers, to make optimised technical and commercial decisions. The project brings together an international consortium of businesses and test sites supported by established academic partners that seek to increase the competitiveness of wave and tidal energy across Europe.
CF2T - Competitive Foundation for Tidal Turbine – Led by the Brittany-based tidal company Sabella, with partners in Spain and Sweden. This project will investigate ways of reducing capital expenditure costs and improving reliability of the foundation structure for a tidal turbine, thereby reducing the overall cost of energy. This will have three main components: hybrid material, modular foundation and monitoring frameworks to improve reliability of the foundation.
INNOTEX - Innovative Thermal Exchangers – Led by French company Naval Energies, with a Spanish partner, this project focuses on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). The objective is to validate the performance of an innovative heat exchanger technology. The results will make a significant contribution to the development of future OTEC commercial plants.
SPhorcis - Reshaping eforcis: wave energy converter for offshore small power applications – Led by Spanish company Smalle Technologies, working with SmartBay Ireland. SPhorics is an innovative wave technology which will harvest energy from two axes instead of just one, to give new scope for off-grid low power production, which has many applications, including supplying energy for offshore equipment.
UMACK - Universal Mooring, Anchor & Connectivity Kit demonstration – Led by Swedish wave energy developer CorPower Ocean with Scottish partners Sustainable Marine Energy, TTI Renewables, European Marine Energy Centre and the University of Edinburgh. UMACK will develop and demonstrate a technical anchor for multiple sea-bed types and a quick connect solution, alongside the CorPower power take off system, de-risking the overall demonstration of full-scale devices ahead full system demonstration of the CorPower device.
WEP+ - Wave+ Energy Project – Led by Neureus Technologies from Spain with partners from France, the Canary Islands and Scotland (Orkney based Aquatera). The aim of this project is to deliver smoothed and code compliant power to an established electrical grid through the operation of the point absorber wave energy technology in conjunction with a newly designed energy storage system.
Second Call for Projects to be launched early 2019
The OCEANERA-NET COFUND consortium also announced that it will be running a second joint call for projects which is due to open in early 2019. Potential Irish applicants can now submit their interest in the new call to firstname.lastname@example.org. Call documents will be published on the project website (https://www.oceancofund.eu/) and here on Ocean Energy Ireland early in 2019.
About OCEANERA-NET COFUND
OCEANERA-NET COFUND is an initiative involving the Basque Country, Brittany, Ireland, Pays de la Loire, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. It is part funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. The aim of the project is to coordinate support for research and development in ocean energy and to encourage collaborative projects that tackle key challenges identified for the sector as it progresses towards commercialisation. In addition to running joint calls for collaborative projects and OCEANERA-NET COFUND also organises a range of events and activities designed to encourage collaboration and disseminate project results. The joint calls are designed to connect project developers in offshore renewables with innovative supply chain companies and research organisations, to work together to develop and test new solutions for the challenges in bringing ocean energy to the commercial deployment stage. They build on and complement other support at European and national level by encouraging a joined up approach and sharing of knowledge and expertise.