In March 2012, the Danish Government and the opposition entered an agreement on the Danish energy policy for 2012-2020. With the political initiatives in the agreement, the CO2 emission in 2020 will be 34% less than in 1990 and energy consumption will be reduced by 12%. Approximately 35% of the energy will come from renewable resources.
As part of this agreement, DKK100 million [€13 million] is allocated to promote development and use ofnew renewable electricity production technologies, as well as DKK25 million [€3 million] specifically for wave energy during the period 2012-2015.
In 2012, a new Danish strategy for the development of wave energy was developed by the Partnership for Wave Energy - a partnership between developers of wave energy systems, universities, institutes and industries in Denmark. The project “A new strategy for wave energy through industrial partnership” was initiated by the Wave Energy Research Group from Aalborg University.
The project was funded by the Danish Energy Agency’s EUDP programme. The strategy is summarized below and the views expressed by the Partnership for Wave Energy do not necessarily represent the views of the Energy Agency.
With the report ‘Wave Energy Technology Strategy for Research, Development and Demonstration 2012’, the Danish wave energy sector presents a strategy, which aims at the development of cost effective wave energy plants – even more cost effective compared to wind power, when placed far offshore in deep water.
Strategy and National Targets
The vision of the strategy is that Danish industry and businesses will develop competitive wave energy technologies and components to be sold both in the national and the international market. By 2030, wave energy technology can provide a cost-effective and sustainable electricity supply from energy farms located offshore in Denmark.
The development is envisaged to take place through a strengthened and extended industrial cooperation on development of key technology areas identified by the Partnership and through continued demonstration of a selection of different operating principles, in order to identify the most efficient and reliable components, PTO systems, mooring systems and electrical interconnections and grid connections.
DanWEC, placed in Hanstholm in the North Sea, received Greenlab and regional funding of €2 million in 2012 to its first phase of establishment. The strategy suggests demonstration projects to be carried out at DanWEC, partly funded by a grant and partly funded by a conditional and project specific feed-in tariff based on the performance of the device (forskVE/Energinet.dk). Presently, Wavestar is located at DanWEC and the Ocean Energy Systems (OES) group visited the site in connection with the 23rd EXCO meeting in Aalborg as seen in figure 1.
FIGURE 1: Field trip to Wavestar at DanWEC in Hansholm during the
23rd Excoin Denmark
In parallel, priority should be given to basic research that integrates the learning from these field tests into new or improved principles, materials, components and systems leading to more economic second and third generation devices.
The Partnership identified key areas for joint development. These areas are:
further develop the mooring systems
further develop PTO systems
further develop electrical transmission from floating structure to the seabed
materials and components
The Partnership was asked by the Danish Energy Agency to provide a roadmap towards the development of a 500 MW wave energy plant of in the North Sea.
FIGURE 2: Development plan proposed by the Partnership for Waves in Denmark
The plan is roughly presented in table 1 below, indicating four different price levels necessary to perform the development.
TABLE 1: Size of projects and graduation of tariffs for the proposed development
Demonstration projects (2015-2025) up to a total of about 2-5 MW proposed by the Partnership for demonstration purposes (i.e. at DanWEC or Horns Rev offshore wind park) which in terms of energy production are considered suboptimal. The projects will therefore be relatively expensive and to attract private investments the Partnership proposes a feed-in tariff of €600/MWh for a limited annual production of 7000 MWh/year over a maximum of 10 years.
Small wave energy parks (2020-2030) up to a total between 10 – 20 MW, i.e. developed from the concepts that have been demonstrated at DanWEC. These first larger parks would be put for tender on a tariff of €400/MWh with a production limit of up to 30.000MWh/year over a period of 10 years.
Large wave energy parks (2025-2035) up to 30 – 60 MW capacity put to tender with a tariff of €200/MWh with an annual production limit of 100.000MWh/year over a period of 10 years.
Cost effective offshore energy park (2030 - ) 500 - 1000 MW capacity put to tender with a tariff of 120€/MWh with an annual production of 1.500.000MWh/year over a period of 20 - 50 years.
This development plan acknowledges that testing and demonstrating hardware at sea is required (even at an early stage with high costs compared to other technologies), in order to gain experience and operating knowledge to carry out the development. The development is accompanied by research and development at a more fundamental level in laboratories, land based test facilities and universities that gradually will enable the more cost efficient schemes.
Energinet.DK has developed a simple new excel based tool that can help calculate the cost of energy produced by the wave energy converter in a standardized way. Any wave energy project supported by Energinet.DK Forsk-VE or Forsk-EL programmes will be required to present the cost of energy and background information. This tool will help focus the development to reach the targets.
Support Initiatives and Market Stimulation Incentives
Public funding authorities will typically require matching private investment even at this relative early stage of development. It is therefore proposed that a project specific feed-in tariff based on the performance of the device (Forsk-VE component in Denmark) is applied for future prototype testing.
The Partnership recommends as illustrated above a conditional funding mechanism – i.e. performance based tariffs that will enable investors to have their investment returned, if the prototype project operates according to a pre-specified performance and maintenance scheme. Even if such tariffs may appear high compared to other sources of energy, the described limits and graduation to lower levels will help support and develop the best systems and gain confidence, incorporating whatever new knowledge, with a minimal risk for the public investment.
Main Public Funding Mechanisms
The main public funding for ocean energy is provided through the Energy Agency EUDP, Energinet.DK and the Danish Council for Strategic Research. Within Energinet.DK, the focus is on bringing the most promising wave energy technologies to proper demonstration and full-scale installations. The price of the electricity generated must be significantly reduced. Together with Forsk-VE, Forsk-EL will make it possible to have selected wave power technologies developed right through to commercial installations.
Relevant Legislation and Regulation
Time limited permits for testing wave energy systems in Danish waters can be obtained at the Danish Energy Agency by submitting one single application, which documents the project. Several Danish developers hold such permits typically for a period of about 2 years.
Relevant documents released
“Wave Energy Technology Strategy for Research, Development and Demonstration 2012” Partnership for Wave Energy, by K. Nielsen, J. Krogh, N. E. H. Jensen, J. P. Kofoed, E. Friis-Madsen, B. V. Mikkelsen, A. Jensen. Aalborg University (DCE Technical Reports;146). The document is available for download at http://goo.gl/uAawr
Operational Ocean Energy Projects
Wavestar is currently testing their prototype with two floaters at DanWEC, Hanstholm. Wavestar has an installed generator power of 110 kW and the maximum production measured is 39 kW. Monthly production reports are delivered to Energinet.dk.
Floating Power Plant has commenced the third offshore test phase of their prototype including 140 kW wave power and 33 kW wind power at benign site at the offshore windmill park Vindeby.
Wave Energy demonstration in Denmark of Wavestar (left) and Foating Power Plant (right) at sea.
New and Ongoing Developments
Leancon Wave Energy is preparing to conduct real sea testing at a benign test site Nissum Bredning.
Resen Energy is designing, building and testing a grid connected 2 kW lever operated pivoting float, which is to be tested initially at a benign site and later at DanWEC, Hanstholm.
Wave Dragon is developing a 1.5 MW demonstration device to be tested at DanWEC, Hanstholm. Previously, it has been tested at Nissum Bredning.
Weptos has performed large scale lab testing of a complete machine and has started the process of designing and constructing a full-scale device for testing at DanWEC, Hanstholm.
WaveEnergyFyn is testing at a benign site outside Frederikshavn with their CrestWing scale 1:5 (compared to a planned deployment at DanWEC, Hanstholm).
WavePiston has conducted the first small scale tank testing and is developing a prototype for testing at DanWEC, Hanstholm.
Participation in Collaborative International Projects
Denmark is participating in a number of international projects such as:
The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) aims to improve cooperation between national research institutes (AAU from Denmark) from the current system of ad-hoc participation in joint projects to a future system of collectively planning and implementing joint strategic research programmes.
Denmark has considered joining the ERA-NET scheme with the aim to step up the cooperation and coordination of research programmes in the field of ocean energy at national and/or regional level in the European Member or Associated States through the networking of organisations involved in the support to ocean energy research and development.
The SI Ocean Project aims to identify and develop a wide consensus on the most effective way to tackle the key barriers to delivering a commercial wave and tidal energy sector in Europe. Denmark participates via DHI.
MERMAID (2012 – 2015 [http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/101743_en.html] Innovative Multi-purpose Offshore Platforms: Planning, Design and Operation; the project is coordinated by DTU.
MARINA (2010 - 2014) [http://www.marina-platform.info/] the MARINA Platform project will establish a set of equitable and transparent criteria for the evaluation of multi-purpose platforms for marine renewable energy (MRE). Danish participants are Dong Energy and DTU-Risø.
MARINET (2011-2015) [http://www.fp7-marinet.eu/] aims to coordinate research and development at all scales (small models through to prototype scales from laboratory through to open sea tests) and to allow access for researchers and developers into facilities, which are not universally available in Europe. From Denmark, AAU and DTU participate.
IEC TC 114 within the development of standards on ocean energy, Denmark is participating in a number of standardization groups.