Scotland and Basque Country team up for wave energy funding
The Basque Country and Scotland have partnered up in a new five-year collaborative project named EuropeWave to channel €20 million to the most promising wave energy concepts.
The initiative is match-funded by the European Commission via its Horizon 2020 programme, with Ocean Energy Europe on board as project partner as well.
The cooperation project will be developed by Basque and Scottish authorities, through Ente Vasco de la Energía and Wave Energy Scotland, which will be jointly in charge of technological evaluation and procurement.
EuropeWave will use an innovative ‘pre-commercial procurement’ approach to identify and fund the most promising wave energy devices from developers across Europe.
Concepts will be assessed according to strict technical and economic performance metrics, and the best performers will be demonstrated in Basque and Scottish open waters at the end of the programme.
More specifically, after three eliminatory phases, three wave energy devices will be trialed – one at European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) test site in Scotland, and two at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) site off Armintza, in the Basque Country.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “EuropeWave is a great example of how Scotland can continue to collaborate with European partners, like our great friends in the Basque Country, who have very similar aims and objectives to ourselves. We can work together to bring forward what can hopefully be a very important technology for the whole global community”.
Basque Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment, Arantxa Tapia, added: “This project is an ideal platform for collaboration between two regions in Europe to promote a new sector that contributes to the energy transition, creating a new economy and employment for our citizens. It is a clear example of how things should be done”.
Commenting on the EuropeWave initiative, Matthijs Soede, Research Programme Officer at the European Commission, said: “With EuropeWave we pool public resources for research and demonstration from national and EU level. By effective use of these resources, we hope that this will create more impact for the wave energy sector”.
Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, welcomed the project saying: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative, which brings together some of the strongest supporters of ocean energy. The industry has long identified a pan-European ‘pre-commercial procurement’ as the right route to progress wave energy, so we can’t wait to see this project get underway in 2021″.
The EuropeWave collaboration is closely aligned with the decarbonisation, industrial and competitiveness objectives of the European Green Deal, and will help meet the European Commission’s newly-announced targets of 100MW of ocean energy by 2025, and at least 1GW by 2030.