Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre to lead €11m EU sea-trial project to boost investor confidence

EMEC seascapeA new EU programme to fund open-sea trials for ocean energy is to be led by the European Marine Energy Centre, which is based in Scotland’s Orkney islands.

The aim of the €11m project – which brings together Europe’s leading ocean energy test facilities to help demonstrate tidal, wave and offshore wind energy technologies in real-sea conditions – is to boost investor-confidence that such devices will actually work in-situ.

The FORESEA project (Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action) will provide funding support to ocean energy technology developers to access Europe’s world-leading ocean energy test facilities; – 

  • EMEC (Orkney Islands, UK) 
  • SmartBay (Galway, Ireland)
    SEM-REV (Nantes, France)
    Tidal Testing Centre (Den Oever, Netherlands)

To address this issue, FORESEA will provide a series of funding and development support packages to ocean energy technology developers seeking to test and demonstrate in real-sea and grid-connected conditions, thereby leveraging further investment needed to take their product to market.

Oliver Wragg, Commercial Director, at EMEC, said: “The cost of pre-commercial testing and demonstration for ocean energy is high and investors are generally reluctant to invest until the technology has been proven in the sea at scale.

“FORESEA will provide financial assistance to Europe’s most promising ocean energy innovators and help them ‘get metal wet’, get their technologies tested in real-sea conditions and get private investment flowing into the sector.

Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse, commented: “The €11m FORESEA project is a tremendous achievement by EMEC and complements the innovative funding approaches for marine energy that the Scottish Government is already providing.

“Scotland is recognised as a world leader in wave and tidal energy with some of the leading technologies being developed and tested here.
“This project will allow technology developers to move towards commercial readiness at the world’s leading ocean test facilities; the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney as well as in Ireland, France and the Netherlands.”

Rémi Gruet, Chief Executive, Ocean Energy Europe said: “The size of the prize for commercialising ocean energy is huge.

“In Europe alone, the industry plans to deploy 100GW of generation capacity by 2050, meeting 10% of Europe’s electricity demand. Not only does this mean generating clean and secure renewable energy, it also means creating a new industrial sector based firmly in Europe.”

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