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Ambitious project will create step change for wave energy industry

17-10-2022

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A €19.6 million partnership project aiming to be the stepping stone towards large scale wave energy commercialisation, will be launched this week at the International Conference on Ocean Energy in San Sebastian, Spain.

WEDUSEA is a pioneering collaboration between 14 partners, spanning industry and academia from across the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain. It is co-ordinated by the Irish company OceanEnergy.

The project is co-funded by the EU Horizon Europe Programme and by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Hydro Group based in Aberdeen, Scotland is one of the partners in this ambitious project. Heather Andrade, Sales Director commented: “We are delighted to be involved with this cutting-edge project especially as it will be developed in Scotland. Our harsh environment connection systems have already been trialled on Wave Energy Devices and our engineering team are now working on further technological enhancements within our product range to help achieve Scotland’s ambitious net zero targets”

OceanEnergy has developed the OE35, which is the world’s largest capacity floating wave energy device. Floating on the ocean’s surface, the device incorporates a trapped air volume, with the lower part open to the sea. Wave pressures at the submerged opening cause the water to oscillate and drive the trapped air through a turbine to generate electricity. This energy can be exported to the grid or used in other offshore applications.

The WEDUSEA project will demonstrate a grid connected 1MW OE35 floating wave energy converter at the European Marine Energy Centre Test Site in Orkney, Scotland.

Prof Tony Lewis, Chief Technical Officer at OceanEnergy, explains: “This rigorous technical and environmental demonstration will happen over a two-year period in Atlantic wave conditions. We believe this will be transformational for the wave energy industry, with outcomes directly impacting policy, technical standards, public perception and investor confidence. Wave energy is the world’s most valuable and persistent renewable resource. However, it has yet to be fully realised. The project will demonstrate that wave technology is on a cost reduction trajectory and will thus be a stepping stone to larger commercial array scale up and further industrialisation. We predict that the natural energy of the world’s oceans will one day supply much of the grid.”

Matthijs Soede from the European Commission says: “We are expecting WEDUSEA to take wave energy beyond the state of the art by the collaboration of partners with a multi-disciplinary background and that it will contribute to the deployment of arrays of reliable wave energy devices to achieve the 1GW target for 2030 as presented in our Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy. The current energy crisis shows that the use of multiple energy sources is important to improve the security of supply and a breakthrough in ocean energy would be welcome.”

Myles Heward, Project Manager at the European Marine Energy Centre, says: “The innovative actions taken in this programme aim to improve the efficiency, reliability, scalability and sustainability of wave energy technology, and reduce the Levelised Cost of Electricity of the technology by over 30%. This will help to de-risk investments in wave energy.”

The four year WEDUSEA project has three phases. The first phase is the initial design of a device suited to European Marine Energy test site’s ocean conditions. This will be followed by the demonstration at the site, lasting two years. The final phase will be commercialisation and dissemination which sees the capitalisation and exploitation of the results. OceanEnergy and other consortium companies will actively exploit the results through new innovations, products and services. The results will also be disseminated to feed both environmental databases and IEC electrotechnical standards.

Prof Lars Johanning of University of Exeter says: “WEDUSEA is set to be a major catalyst for the wave energy industry, unlocking the full potential of this exciting renewable technology. WEDUSEA builds on the partners’ experience in prior EU projects. In particular, it draws on the findings of the Components for Ocean Renewable Energy Systems (CORE) project, funded by the EU under the 7th Framework Programme, in which new components and systems for ocean energy devices were developed and trialled. We are expecting WEDUSEA will make a significant contribution to meeting the challenges of climate change and the energy crisis through innovation and rigorous testing and research.”

Rémi Gruet, CEO of the trade association Ocean Energy Europe, adds: “Wave energy is at full-scale stage now and projects like WEDUSEA are paving the way for pilot farms and sector-wide industrialisation. As an EU-UK collaboration project, it will demonstrate the potential for wave energy to make a significant contribution to the EU Green Deal target. Wave energy will help smooth production peaks or dips from variable wind and ensure European energy independence.”

Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are, however, those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

THE WEDUSEA PARTNERSHIP PROJECT

WEDUSEA stands for: ‘Wave Energy Demonstration at Utility Scale to Enable Arrays.’

This international partnership comprises the following 14 organisations:

  1. OCEAN ENERGY (NEW WAVE TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED) - IRELAND 
  2. INNOSEA - FRANCE
  3. ADVANCED SIMULATION TECHNOLOGIES - SPAIN
  4. FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG EV - GERMANY
  5. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, CORK - IRELAND
  6. GAVIN AND DOHERTY GEOSOLUTIONS LTD - IRELAND
  7. EXCEEDENCE LTD - IRELAND
  8. WOOD GROUP KENNY IRELAND LTD - IRELAND
  9. HYDRO GROUP PLC – UK
  10. THE EUROPEAN MARINE ENERGY RESEARCH CENTRE - UK
  11. LONGITUDE CONSULTING ENGINEERS LIMITED – UK
  12. UNIVERSITY OF EXETER - UK
  13. INNOSEA LTD - UK
  14. GREEN MARINE (UK) LTD -UK 

The website is www.wedusea.eu 

PROJECT FUNDING

Total project value is  €19,564,753

 EU funding totals €9,636,874. This funding is from the EU Horizon Europe Programme, managed by The European Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Executive Agency (CINEA)

 Innovate UK funding  is €5,356,026

The balance is funded by the industry partners

About CINEA 

CINEA is the successor organisation of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). It started activities on 1 April 2021 in order to implement parts of certain EU programmes.

CINEA’s mission is to  support stakeholders in delivering the European Green Deal through high-quality programme management that helps to implement projects contributing to decarbonisation and sustainable growth.

CINEA fosters an efficient knowledge sharing and synergies between its different programmes and establishes strong partnerships with its stakeholders.

As part of its remit, CINEA deals with the implementation of the Horizon Europe Programme.

For more details, please visit: https://cinea.ec.europa.eu/index_en 

About the Horizon Europe Programme

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion for the period from 2021-2027. It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies. 

It creates jobs, fully engages the EU’s talent pool, boosts economic growth, promotes industrial competitiveness and optimises investment impact within a strengthened European Research Area.

For more details, please visit: 

https://research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe_en 

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. They connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth. 

Innovate UK fund business and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business investment into R&D. Their support is available to businesses across all economic sectors, value chains and UK regions. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation. 

For more information visit: https://www.ukri.org/councils/innovate-uk/ 

ABOUT WAVE ENERGY

  • Wave energy is a plentiful, renewable energy source. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts the potential annual global production at 29,500 TWh. This is almost ten times Europe’s annual electricity consumption of 3,000 TWh.
  • Wave energy is emission-free.
  • While variable, wave energy is reliable, as waves are almost always in motion.
  • Ocean waves exert a tremendous amount of power. In fact, waves have the highest energy density of renewable energy sources, compared to others like wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. This means that waves can be an important contributor to the world’s “energy mix resilience.”
  • Many countries - including Australia, China, Denmark, Italy, Korea, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA - are currently developing wave energy.
  • The US Energy Information Administration has calculated that the waves around the United States coasts could potentially provide 64% of that country’s electricity.
  • Indeed, the World Economic Forum has estimated that if wave energy was fully harnessed on a global basis, it could provide all of the world’s electricity needs.

ABOUT OCEANENERGY

OceanEnergy, the trading name of New Wave Technologies Limited, is a specialised commercial company developing wave energy technology and is based in Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland. 

The company is developing technology which has been extensively tested and is now at a stage where it is now one of the most commercially viable technologies for harnessing the power of the oceans. 

The device, through careful development, has the advantages of a robust and practical design, one moving part and proven survivability having withstood over 3 years of live sea trials in Atlantic waves.

For further information, please visit: https://oceanenergy.ie/ 

ABOUT THE EUROPEAN MARINE ENERGY CENTRE (EMEC)

EMEC is an innovation catalyst supporting the transition to a low carbon future, reducing the time, cost and risk in offshore R&D.


Established in Orkney in 2003, EMEC is the world’s leading accredited test laboratory and inspection body for demonstrating wave and tidal energy converters, subsystems and components in real sea conditions. To date, more marine energy converters have been deployed in Orkney, Scotland, than at any other single site in the world with 22 wave and tidal energy clients (from 11 countries) having tested 35 marine energy devices. EMEC is committed to supporting the transition to net zero and has expanded activities into other sectors including green hydrogen, floating wind, clean transport and energy systems.

For the WEDUSEA project, EMEC will provide metocean, bathymetry and geophysical data to feed into the design criteria for the wave energy converter device and facilitate planning of offshore operations. 

The deployment at EMEC’s Billia Croo site will enable collection of valuable data on performance and environmental impact. This will include a series of field campaigns spanning underwater and airborne acoustics, biophysical assessment of wave dynamics, fish aggregation and seabird analysis, assessing the connection between local species and technology operation. This data will build on existing environmental studies to provide regulators with improved understanding and reduced uncertainty around environmental impacts of wave energy. 

For further information, please visit: https://www.emec.org.uk/ 


ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON OCEAN ENERGY (ICOE)

The Basque Energy Cluster and Ocean Energy Europe are teaming up to deliver a joint event on ocean energy, taking place on 18-20 October 2022. The event combines the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) and Ocean Energy Europe’s (OEE) annual event.

The ICOE-OEE 2022, gathers ocean energy professionals and decision-makers from all corners of the globe in San Sebastián / Donostia, in the Basque Country, Spain. 

For further information, please visit: https://icoeoee2022donostia.org/