Maestrale reviews blue energy solutions for Mediterranean

Maestrale project partners have released the results of study visits to Italy and Sweden conducted in search of the blue energy technological solution that could be applied in the Mediterranean area.

The three study visits organized over the summer by the Maestrale project partners emphasized the advantages and disadvantages of blue energy (BE) technologies seen in Italy and Sweden and potential transferability of these technologies to the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The team visited several companies engaged in tidal, wave and offshore wind technology development as the main goal of the project Maestrale, part of EU’s Interreg MED Programme, is to promote the development of blue energy in the Mediterranean area as a key sector for sustainable growth.

The partners found that REWEC3 wave energy converter, from the Italian ocean energy developer, is one of the most promising technologies for BE generation since it is applicable in other areas of Mediterranean basin were the wave height is low but wave frequency is high.

However, the installation of this kind of device is suitable only on new port infrastructures, and only if planned during the breakwater designing phase, according to Maestrale.

In Sweden, the partners visited four companies, including tidal energy developer Minesto, wave energy developers Waves4Power, and Seabased, and floating wind developer SeaTwirl.

The team concluded that Seabased wave energy devices are easily applicable in the Mediterranean, due to the possibility to customize size and power of the device according to wave energy potentials, and the fact that they can be easily installed in clusters close to the seacoast, with low sea depth and flat seabase.

Waves4Power’s wave energy technology could potentially be applicable in some areas of the Southern Adriatic, however the transferability to the Mediterranean basin need to be further investigated, the team noted.

When it comes to tidal energy generation and the Mediterranean, the Maestrale project emphasized the ability of Minesto’s Deep Green device to produce electricity in seas with slower sea currents of 1.2 m/sec, like those in the Mediterranean, but its transferability into this basin needs to be investigated further.

Maestrale team determined that SeaTwirl’s floating wind solution could be transferred to Southern Adriatic and several remote islands, mainly the islands of the Croatian Archipelago, thanks to the relative simplicity of the technology, the low installations costs, the low environmental impact and the low starting wind speed.

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