In 1991 the European Commission (EC) included wave energy in its Research and Development (R&D) programmes (OES, 2009) and since then a large number of projects have been funded by the EC. Most of them have developed updated and exhaustive reports on the relevant research field, which are useful references beyond the ones provided above. Projects’ participants also provide a hint on some of the most active teams on wave energy in Europe. In the following only a few of the latest EC projects are reviewed.
The Sowfia project (Streamlining of Ocean Wave Farms Impact Assessment) It aims to remove legal, environmental and socio-economic barriers to the development of WECs. For that purpose, it will develop coordinated, unified and streamlined tools that will deal with the consenting processes, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and socio-economics of wave energy developments.
Research on grid-connection alternatives for European electricity networks have been the main focus of the following three projects. All of them deal with onshore or offshore wind energy, yet their findings are of relevance to wave energy:
– The Tradewind project (Integrating Wind: Developing Europe’s Power Market for the Large-scale Integration of Wind Power) has formulated recommendations on policy development, market rules and interconnector allocation methods to support large-scale integration of wind energy in European power markets.
– OffshoreGrid (Offshore Electricity Infrastructure in Europe) continues the TradeWind project by providing an in-depth analysis of the milestones towards a cost-efficient grid in the North and Baltic Seas. The objective has been to develop a secure, interconnected European power system, capable of integrating increasing amounts of renewable energies, particularly of offshore wind energy.
– In parallel, the Windspeed project (Spatial Deployment of Offshore Wind Energy in Europe) has planned the development of offshore wind in the North Sea . It has defined a roadmap for 2020 and 2030, analysed the interactions with other sea users and identified meshed grid connection opportunities within countries.
The following five projects investigate the advantages in combining wave and wind power production:
– Orecca (Offshore Renewable Energy Conversion Platforms) has worked towards a roadmap and a framework for knowledge sharing on offshore renewable energies.
– The Marina Platform continuous the Orecca project to establish a set of criteria for the evaluation of multi-purpose platforms for marine renewable energy.
– Tropos (Modular Multi-use Deep Water Offshore Platform for Harnessing and Servicing Mediterranean, Subtropical and Tropical Marine and Maritime Resources) aims to develop a floating modular multi-use platform system for use in deep waters.
– H2Ocean (Development of a Wind-Wave Power Open-Sea Platform Equipped for Hydrogen Generation with Support for Multiple Users of Energy) focuses on a design of a multi-use open-sea platform, where wind and wave energy will be harvested. Part of the energy will be used for on-site applications like hydrogen production or aquaculture.
– Mermaid (Innovative Multi-purpose Offshore Platforms: Planning, Design and Operation) works towards the optimisation of the use of space for offshore wind farms and aquaculture. The project investigates marine structures with shared resources such as staff allocation, transportation of staff and material from and to the platforms, use of forecasting systems, ships, etc.
The next three European projects relate to the development of forecasting tools for wind energy:
– Anemos compared a number of statistical prediction models and developed forecasting software, which utilises neural network.
– The Anemos project has been continued by Anemos Plus, which aims to identify instruments to implement Anemos forecasts in the best possible grid management and effective power trading.
– The Safewind project looks into forecasts improvement for extreme wind situations.
With relevance to most of research fields are the projects CA-OE (Coordinated Action on Ocean Energy), WavePlam (Wave Energy Planning and Marketing), EquiMar (Equitable Testing and Evaluation of Marine Energy Extraction Devices in terms of Performance, Cost and Environmental Impact), and Wavetrain1 and its continuation, Wavetrain2. Extensive research material has been produced within the two networks.
Finally, the international initiative towards ocean energy development, named the Ocean Energy Systems (OES) of the International Energy Agency, produces annual reports on the ocean energy sector and on various fields of interest to the ocean community.
Other interesting projects for the reader can be found in the Projects section of this website.
Alternatively, the reader might be interested in knowing who are the main Danish actors in the wave energy field.
OES. (2009). “Annual Report 2008”. Ocean Energy Systems (OES).