DMEC: Mix of offshore renewable energy sources key to reliable energy system

At this year’s Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Dutch Marine Energy Center (DMEC) held a session at The Stage during which it was stated that a combination of offshore renewable energy sources, storage methods and nature-inclusive design is needed to build a solid energy system.

DMEC is a not-for-profit organization and an accelerator for offshore renewable energy solutions. Koen Donkers, Business & Innovation Advisor at DMEC, talked about the center’s objectives, goals, and projects. The mission of the center is to advance the development, deployment and operation of innovative offshore renewable energy solutions. The organization believes that marine energy will be a crucial driver in realizing the global energy transition and fostering sustainable growth.

Ocean energy sources are gaining increasing attention as a means of addressing the global energy crisis and coping with climate change. Wave and tidal energy have been recognized as energy sources that have the potential to provide a substantial amount of clean and sustainable power. However, to create a reliable energy system, a combination of offshore renewable energy sources is needed.

During the session, to provide a market perspective, DMEC’s Corporate Partnership Program partner TotalEnergies highlighted the need for all energy production profiles for a reliable energy system. This also includes the wave and tidal energy.

Arnaud Wyers, Renewable Explorer, TotalEnergies, stated that wind and solar energy today are scalable technologies, but they alone are not enough to satisfy the global energy demand.

“We need all production profiles and wave energy, tidal energy has a complementary (role)… More base load profiles are needed for building this new reliable system.”

He also said that some challenges need to be resolved because “for example, in terms of wave energy, we have identified, I think around 200 different technologies. So definitely what needs to happen is a convergence in wind and solar.”

Furthermore, new innovative technologies in the marine energy sector were mentioned during the session. Maarten Berkhout, Director of Project Development and co-founder of SeaQurrent, talked about the next-generation tidal kite and energy plants, while Emiel van Hemeldonck, Project Manager of Didak Injection informed the guests about sustainable moulding solutions for floating solar energy.

Meanwhile, Richard Parkinson, Managing Director of Inyanga Marine Energy, mentioned the progress of the company’s tidal energy projects and their future perspective. The firm has recently revealed that its subsidiary HydroWing works on plans for 10 MW tidal energy project in Wales, which is supported by the UK government’s renewables auction scheme for future next-generation Tocardo tidal turbines.

As part of the energy transition puzzle, the speakers pointed out that co-location of renewable energy sources and international cooperation is important to achieve the long-term clean energy goals.

When asked about the electrification of the current assets, and how can we solve the oil and gas decarbonization challenge, Wyers from TotalEnergies noted that the company is currently working on several projects. Conversion is something that needs to happen in this scenario, and industry players have to work together.

“For the part of decarbonization of assets, we can already use the technologies that are available, but for the large-scale rollout, we really need that convergence to happen, I think, to start investing. There are some challenges also in terms of, it has been mentioned, the levelized cost of electricity is still not on par with other technologies so that also has to be overcome,” he stated.

Moreover, Wyers mentioned the role of the government is equally important to provide the necessary tools for achieving the net-zero goals, alongside the role of market players and developers.

“The Dutch government recently set a target of three gigawatts of offshore solar for 2030, which is very ambitious… If we take the lessons from wind and solar, we all know what has happened there to make it scalable; there was a big push from the governments with strong ambitions, but also strong supporting schemes.,” Wyers highlighted.

When asked about the outlook and the future of energy 20 years from now, when it comes to the North Sea and sea in general. Wyers added that the location remains a challenge, because “you cannot do everything on land, especially in a densely populated land such as the Netherlands.”

“I think we need to be mindful of the use of space. And there it’s very interesting to look at the course of the space for production, for energy production… My dream would be collaboration in the whole North Sea with a combination of several technologies to have the ideal production profile and be mindful of the ecological aspect,” Wyers concluded.

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