Wave Energy Scotland supports the development of Advanced Control Systems technology for wave energy devices with almost £1m.
Two projects were selected for this phase of development, where the control systems technology will be demonstrated in model wave devices in Scottish wave tanks. Advanced Control Systems technology increases the amount of energy that wave energy can capture, thus reducing the cost of electricity generation. The results of the projects will be seen in the testing of two wave energy devices in Orkney next year.
This is one of the many wave energy projects that Wave Energy Scotland has invested in, rising the total amount to £39.6m. Other focus areas have been the best technologies for wave devices, power take-off technology and structural materials.
More information about the projects can be found here.
Ocean Energy Europe has published its annual statistics on the developments of the ocean energy sector.
The report shows that Europe continues to lead the world in ocean energy deployments. In 2018, European tidal stream installations reached 26.8MW, and wave energy installations 11.3MW.
Europe remains the world leader in wave energy installations, but the rest of the world is catching up in tidal stream: tidal power installations outside Europe increased from zero in 2015 to a total of 6.7MW between 2016 and 2018.
To stay out in front and get projects over the line, the European sector needs revenue support at national level. Ocean Energy Europe’s CEO, Rémi Gruet, emphasised the importance of such incentives. “The power, and learnings, produced by ocean energy technologies in recent years clearly show that it is possible to generate large quantities of electricity from the sea. What we now need to reach industrialisation is revenue support – just like other renewables, and indeed fossil fuels, have also received.”
Tidal stream technology is now proving itself as a reliable and predictable source of energy. After a decade of steadily increasing generation, power production has shifted up a gear in the past two years and produced record volumes of electricity last year. Since 2013, 34 gigawatt-hours of electricity has been produced by tidal stream in Europe – enough to power more than 9,000 homes over the same period.
Wave energy is also set to continue its promising development: the latest wave energy projects to hit the water are proving that these devices are surviving well in harsh conditions, paving the way for larger, more powerful versions in 2019.
On the 10th of April, ETIP Ocean published a new report ‘Powering Homes Today, Powering Nations Tomorrow’, putting a spotlight on the ocean energy technology’s progress over the past 2 years, and setting out clear actions to bring ocean energy to the point of industrial roll-out.
‘Powering Homes Today, Powering Nations Tomorrow’ analyses the challenges faced by the sector and proposes four actions to overcome them. The report also highlights ocean energy’s recent successes, with record volumes of power being supplied to the grid by tidal stream technology, and several promising scale and full-sized wave devices going into the water. It reiterates ocean energy’s potential of providing 10% of Europe’s current electricity consumption by 2050.
Ocean Energy Europe’s Policy Director, Donagh Cagney said: “The technological progress made by ocean energy has been a true European success story with project teams from across Europe collaborating within EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Interreg. To unlock available EU support and private investment, we now call upon national governments to play their part and earmark revenue support specifically for ocean energy.”
Four key actions are required, at European and national level, to bring ocean energy technologies from early stage to industrialisation:
- A European ‘stage-gate’ programme for R&D and prototypes, which ‘funnels’ the most successful innovations, through a series of competitive calls;
- National-level revenue support earmarked for ocean energy, so that farms can repay debt or service equity from both private investors and public programmes. This support can be via competitive auctions in reserved ‘pots’, Feed-In-Tariffs, or tax credits for private Power Purchase Agreements;
- A blend of programmes to finance demonstration and pre-commercial farms, made up of revenue support, grant funding, public-supported equity, public-guaranteed loans, and an Insurance & Guarantee Fund. EU schemes address some but not all of these requirements – e.g. InnovFin EDP.
- Environmental monitoring programmes that produce comparable and consistent data, enabling licensing and consenting authorities to make better decisions on ocean energy deployments.
You can download the report here.