Illustration/L to R: CorPower Ocean’s wave energy device and Floating Power Plan’ts wave-wind hybrid (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean/Floating Power Plant)

EU Innovation Fund backs two major ocean energy projects as part of €3.6B clean tech investment

The European Commission has supported two major ocean energy projects – led by Floating Power Plant and Simply Blue Group’s Saoirse Wave Energy – which will take a share of €3.6 billion of investment provided for 41 large-scale clean tech projects through the EU Innovation Fund.

Illustration/L to R: CorPower Ocean’s wave energy device and Floating Power Plan’ts wave-wind hybrid (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean/Floating Power Plant)

With a focus on the REPowerEU Plan and phasing out Europe’s imports of Russian fossil fuels, the projects funded under the Innovation Fund cover a wide range of industries, such as cement, steel, advanced biofuels, sustainable aviation fuels, wind and solar energy, and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives.

The funding will contribute to the greening of significant sectors of the European economy, in particular those that are difficult to decarbonize.

The 41 projects were selected following the third call for large-scale projects, covering four topics: general decarbonization; industry electrification and hydrogen, clean tech manufacturing, and mid-sized pilots.

The two ocean energy projects, developed by Danish company Floating Power Plant and Irish-based Simply Blue Group through its Saoirse Wave Energy, were selected in the ‘mid-sized pilots’ topic, that supported nine projects with a total of €250 million.

At the time of the launching of the call, it was stated that the maximum amount of funding support to be awarded per project for this topic would be limited to €40 million.

Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, said: “Today, the European Union is making an unprecedented investment of €3.6 billion in 41 clean tech projects across the continent.

“With investments in innovative solutions like these, we deliver on Europe’s green transition goals, support our industry, and bring energy security, safety and prosperity to future generations. Because we have put a price on carbon emissions, Europe is getting the additional financial firepower that enables these transformative investments.”

Floating Power Plant’s Seaworthy project to incorporate hydrogen

Rendering of FPP’s hybrid floating wind and wave platform (Courtesy of FPP)
Rendering of Floating Power Plant’s hybrid floating wind and wave platform (Courtesy of Floating Power Plant)

Seaworthy is a mid-size prototype demonstration project aiming to demonstrate dispatchable renewable power supply through smart integration of wave energy converters, a wind turbine, and a full hydrogen system (electrolyzer, storage, and fuel cells) in a single semisubmersible platform.

The goal of the demonstrator, to be tested in Spain, is to advance proprietary PNS-P2X technology from TRL6 to TRL8, by building, testing and operating prototype at a scale considered suitable representative for validation of commercial-scale applications.

Simply Blue Group’s Saoirse wave energy project offshore Ireland

Illustration/CorPower Ocean’s C4 device being deployed offshore Portugal (Courtesy of CorPower Ocean)

Simply Blue Group’s Saoirse wave energy project is a wave energy demonstration project at a site located off the Irish coast, aiming to prove the viability of wave energy converter technology.

Saoirse will be the first full-scale wave energy conversion test and demonstration project in Ireland. It will prove the viability of wave energy converter technology through long term deployment in the harsh, energetic conditions of the North Atlantic.

The Saoirse project is expected to show that wave energy technology is finally reaching maturity and allow Ireland to be first movers into this exciting new clean energy generation space.

According to the information from Simply Blue Energy, the Saoirse project will be located off the west coast of Clare, and consist of a 5MW wave energy conversion array of approximately 15-16 wave energy units, some 4 kilometers from the coast.

A Swedish wave energy company CorPower Ocean is responsible for delivering the wave energy element as Simply Blue Energy’s OEM supplier and partner.

Increased budget for the next EU Innovation Fund call

The selected projects were evaluated by independent experts against five award criteria: ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional technologies, level of innovation, operational, financial and technical maturity, scalability, and cost effectiveness.

In addition to the 41 projects selected for funding today, other promising but insufficiently mature projects will receive project development assistance from the European Investment Bank. These will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2023.

At the end of the year, the Commission will launch the next call for proposals for large-scale projects under the Innovation Fund, with an increased budget of €4 billion.

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