Photo: Illustration/Offshore floating solar unite developed by Dutch company Oceans of Energy (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)

EU opens €10M innovation call for ocean energy and offshore floating solar technologies

The European Union’s key funding programme for research and innovation Horizon Europe has launched a €10 million call for projects related to innovative foundations, floating substructures and connection systems for ocean energy and offshore floating solar technologies.

Illustration/Offshore floating solar unite developed by Dutch company Oceans of Energy (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)
Illustration/Offshore floating solar unite developed by Dutch company Oceans of Energy (Courtesy of Oceans of Energy)

The call, launched on 2 September 2021 and open for applications until 23 February 2022, aims to improve the overall lifetime, reliability, installability, operability and maintainability of marine substructures, mechanical joints and energy connection systems for ocean energy devices and offshore floating solar technologies.

This in turn is expected to result in reduction of degradation and failure rates of such systems, therefore reducing the investment risks as well.

Projects for this call are expected to test and validate the potential benefits of new circular materials in offshore floating solar and ocean energy substructures, foundations and mooring and anchoring systems whilst ensuring structural integrity and durability considering very high wind, current, and wave loads.

The scope of work will also entail validating new prototype components and materials used in offshore floating solar and ocean energy devices and verifying that they are compatible with and resistant to the marine environment, with the focus on corrosion and biofouling on all elements of the ocean energy systems as well.

The call will fund three projects that will each receive around €3.5 million, according to Horizon Europe.

The expected outcome of the call is to reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) associated with ocean energy systems and improve the understanding of the real-life performance of the technology, which could enable safe reduction in the over-engineering of devices’ specifications.

Worth noting, the UK companies are also eligible to apply for Horizon Europe funding opportunities.