The summary in this section was provided by Jose Luis Villate, TECNALIA. This report has been prepared with the collaboration of APPA-Marina, the ocean energy section of the Spanish Renewable Energy Association.
APPA-Marina represents the voice of the Spanish ocean energy industry with two main objectives: to promote an appropriate legal framework and to facilitate a successful technology development, both with the final goal of putting ocean energy as a relevant contributor to the renewable energy production in Spain by 2020.
The Spanish Renewable Energy Plan 2011-2020, approved in November 2011, includes targets for ocean energy (100 MW of installed power by 2020). However, these targets seem now difficult to achieve since the Spanish Government suspended feed-in tariff support to all the new renewable energy installations
from January 2012.
Despite the temporary situation regarding feed-in tariff support, the Spanish ocean energy industry is progressing with several projects in different stages of development. The most advanced one is the Mutriku OWC plant, which has fulfilled one year of operation with the production of 200MWh. Furthermore, two open sea test facilities, bimep and PLOCAN, are progressing and both of them are expected to be in operation in 2013.
Ocean Energy Policy
Strategy and National Targets
The current ocean energy policy in Spain was approved in November 2011 with the inclusion of ocean energy for the first time in the “Renewable Energy Plan 2011-2020”. This plan includes the following targets:
The first 10MW of installed ocean power are expected by 2016.
An annual growth rate of 20-25MW between 2016 and 2020 is expected to accumulate to 100MW by 2020.
The plan foresees an important growth of ocean energy after 2020 with the following phases:
Reliability confirmation (2010-2015): simulation, modelling and prototypes will be key aspects. Cost of the electricity is not a major issue during this phase.
Technology development (2016-2020): demonstration of full-scale prototypes with generation costs between €21 and €33 per MWh.
Technology consolidation (2021-2030): commercial deployment of ocean power plants with a cost reduction of the electricity down to €7-€15 per MWh.
Spain is part, together with Portugal, France, Ireland and UK, of the Atlantic Forum, which together with the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) of the European Commission is developing an action plan for the Atlantic Ocean region. This action plan will have possible projects for funding to support the blue economy and develop innovative ideas to face common challenges. Marine renewable energy will be one of the key sectors to be considered in this Atlantic Strategy. In this context, Bilbao hosted one of the workshops to contribute to the action plan and OES was represented with the participation of the Spanish alternate as the moderator of a session on marine renewable session.
One Spanish region has defined specific strategies and targets for ocean energy: the Basque Government approved in December 2011 its Energy Strategy for 2020 which includes a specific initiative to speed up technology and commercial development of wave energy and sets a target of 60MW by 2020.
Support Initiatives and Market Stimulation Incentives
The Spanish Renewable Energy Plan 2011-2020 includes some strategic actions to facilitate the achievement of its targets. Regarding ocean energy, the following actions are proposed:
Technology strategy actions:
An intensive R&D programme focused on new designs and components clearly aimed at reducing costs and improving the survivability of the devices.
A demonstration programme aimed at developing and testing small scales prototypes.
Support of experimental testing infrastructures to validate the performance of the devices during the full life cycle.
This includes a specific and simplified consenting process for experimental platforms.
Collaboration with other European countries by means of an initiative of the European Union focused on improving the reliability and new installation techniques.
Non-technology strategy actions:
Definition of a specific regulatory framework for ocean energy projects, with simplified licensing processes.
Modification of the feed-in tariff system to create a different group for ocean energy more appropriate for its stage of development.
Planning of grid infrastructures to facilitate ocean energy integration.
General dissemination and promotion campaigns amongst different stakeholders to improve social acceptance and to facilitate a new market.
Main Public Funding Mechanisms
The first Royal Decree of the Spanish Government in 2012 has meant a serious step back for ocean energy development with the suspension of the support through feed-in tariffs to all the new renewable energy installations.
The future of ocean energy in Spain would need key public support mechanisms, which are already outlined in the Renewable Energy Plan 2011-2020:
Simplification of administrative procedures.
R&D subsidies for technology development, including prototypes, resource assessment and experimental platforms.
Investment grants for demonstration and pre-commercial projects.
Specific and more attractive feed-in tariff system for ocean energy projects.
Relevant Legislation and Regulation
Apart from the Renewable Energy Plan and the suspension of feed-in tariffs, there are no additional changes in the current Spanish legislation regarding ocean energy: a Royal Decree from 2007 establishes the administrative procedure to apply for an authorization for electricity generation installations at sea.
Research & Development
Government Funded R&D
The most important R&D project is running since 2009 partially funded by the Spanish Government within its CENIT programme. OceanLider, led by “Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción”, includes several R&D activities covering resource assessment, technology development of wave, tidal and hybrid systems, electrical transmission, operation, maintenance and safety systems and environmental issues. The project has a budget of €30 million (€15 million public funding) a duration of 40 months and the participation of 20 industrial partners and 24 research centres. Within the OceanLider project, companies such as Norvento Enerxía or a Cantabrian consortium coordinated by CT-Innova are developing their own concepts of wave energy converters.
A new R&D project on wave energy has been approved by the Basque Government under its ETORGAI programme in 2012. The project is also led by “Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción” with the participation of eight leading Basque companies: OCEANTEC Energias Marinas, Guascor Power, Ingeteam Power Technology, Itsaskorda, JEMA Energy, Obeki Electric Machines, Vicinay Cadenas and Corporacion ZIGOR, and the collaboration of TECNALIA as the main R&D subcontractor. The so called UHINDAR project, with a budget of €8 million, aims at developing a floating wave energy converter and defining the electric infrastructure and mooring systems for a complete wave energy farm. In December 2012, the first wave tank trials of a small scale device have been performed.
Participation in Collaborative International Projects
Coordination of European Ocean Energy Research
Within the context of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), a Joint Research Programme (JP) on ocean energy was launched in 2011, with the active participation of Spain through the involvement of TECNALIA and CTC as an associated partner since 2012. The EERA Ocean Energy JP is based around six key research themes: Resource, Devices and Technology, Deployment and Operations, Environmental Impact, Socio-economic Impact and Research Infrastructure, Education and Training. Spain is participating in all of the Research Themes and TECNALIA is leading the “Deployment and Operation” theme together with the German centre Fraunhofer IWES.
MARINET - Marine Renewables Infrastructure Network
Is a €9 million EU-funded initiative to provide access to test facilities in specialized marine renewable energy centres across Europe. MARINET supports testing of concepts and devices in areas such as wave energy, tidal energy, offshore wind energy and environment. The network consists of 42 testing facilities at 28 research centres in 12 countries. In Spain, EVE and TECNALIA are key partners in this initiative: TECNALIA is offering its Electrical PTO lab testing facilities, and EVE is offering its Mutriku OWC plant and BIMEP testing facilities. Further information: www.fp7-marinet.eu
The Spanish marine renewable energy sector has begun to benefit from MARINET:
A collaborative project on corrosion was approved under the first MARINET call. The project deals with the assessment and mitigation of marine corrosion in metallic components for marine energy devices and is led by CTC with the participation of CSIC-CENIM and TECNALIA.
CT-INNOVA has tested a pendulum wave energy device, developed within the OceanLider project, in the wave tank of Aalborg University.
EnerOcean has tested sensor encapsulations for tidal devices installing 12 prototypes at Fraunhofer IWES, in Helgoland. EnerOcean has also supported the testing of the W2Power combined wind and wave concept through model testing at the University of Edinburgh curved wave tank, in the framework of long term collaboration with a Norwegian company that will continue with additional testing during 2013.
Participation in tidal energy projects
During the initial months of 2012 two projects related to tidal energy with a relevant participation of the Spanish SME EnerOcean have been finished:
Eurostars E!4449 Q-Sail focused on the qualification of a tidal energy device based on sails. EnerOcean role was mainly in the first installations sites assessment and in the marinization and reliability aspects of the design. EnerOcean was supported by University of Cadiz and University of Málaga during the three years of this project.
FP7 Capacities project Tidalsense (SME-2008-1 call, GA 232518), in which EnerOcean had a role as development steering end user and provided the theoretical basis for a remote structural health monitoring system for tidal energy devices.
EnerOcean is also participating in TidalsenseDemo (a FP7 project for SMEs funded in the 2011 call). It is a €3 million demonstration project, in which the results of the previous research project Tidalsense will be demonstrated in working tidal devices. EnerOcean is one of the leading companies of a 12 entities consortium coordinated by InnotecUK, and that includes also the University of Cadiz. The project started in February 2012. In November 2012, EnerOcean participated in the sensor installation in Nautricity prototype, which will be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC )in January 2013.
Spanish leadership in offshore multi-purpose platforms
With the leadership of the Spanish company Acciona Energia, the European MARINA-Platform project is dealing with the evaluation of multi-purpose platforms for marine renewable energy and plan to produce a set of design and optimisation tools addressing, inter alia, new platform design, component engineering, risk assessment, spatial planning, platform-related grid connection concepts, all focussed on system integration and reducing costs. These tools will be used to produce two or three realisations of multi-purpose renewable energy platforms. The MARINA-Platform project started in January 2010 with the support of the European Commission through the seventh framework programme and will run during 54 months. Further information at www.marina-platform.com
PLOCAN, the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands, is leading the TROPOS project awarded with €6.6 million under the European call “Ocean of Tomorrow” in 2011. The objective of this project is to design multi-use offshore platforms where ocean energy plays a key role. Further information at www.troposplatform.eu
The Spanish company AWS Truepower is leading the H2OCEAN project aimed at developing a wind-wave power open sea platform equipped for hydrogen generation with support for multiple users of energy and uses such as multi-trophic aquaculture. The project started in January 2012, will run for 3 years and is also funded under the Ocean of Tomorrow 2011 call. Further information at www.h2ocean-project.eu
Operational Ocean Energy Projects
The Biscay Marine Energy Platform – bimep – provides wave energy device manufacturers with facilities to validate their designs and to test their technical and economic feasibility. The Basque coast, and specifically the location of bimep off the coast of Armintza (Bizkaia), offers suitable wave conditions for device testing and a relatively low exposure to extreme waves that could damage the prototypes. Bimep occupies a 5.3 km2 marked area excluded for navigation and maritime traffic, and located at a minimum distance of 1,700 m from shore, close enough for fast access to deployed devices. The total power of 20 MW is distributed over four offshore connection points of 5 MW each at 50-90 m water depths. Once the administrative authorisation for the installation was granted, in November 2012, the first works started with the horizontal drilling for the installation of the submarine power cables.
First works at bimep: horizontal drilling for submarine cable installation
The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands (PLOCAN) is a Public Consortium aimed to build and operate an offshore infrastructure to facilitate and accelerate the development of new oceanic technologies. PLOCAN is ruled by the Spanish Government (50%) and the Regional Government of the Canary Islands (50%). This Consortium is placed on the island of Gran Canaria. PLOCAN offers a marine test site for ocean energy converters prototypes. The submarine electrical infrastructure is being designed (expected to be installed by the end of 2013) offering the required grid connection. The initial capacity is 15 MW with a future extension planned up to 50 MW by 2020. Main technologies on testing will be related to waves and offshore wind conversion. PLOCAN provides facilities to raise public funds aimed to develop innovative projects in the test site:
INNPACTO WAVE ENERGY (IWE) is a project partially funded by the Spanish Government (2010-2013) and lead by the Spanish company PIPO Systems. Its main aim is to extend the concept of APC-PISYS technology looking for new applications. As expected, the first prototype was successfully deployed in October 2012 at PLOCAN’s test site (Gran Canaria) for operational assessment.
UNDIGEN is a project partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (2011-2013). The Spanish company WEDGE GLOBAL leads the consortium formed by FCC, CIEMAT and PLOCAN. UNDIGEN is aimed to design, build and deploy a new wave energy converter prototype with a capacity of 150 kW. After completion of the mechanical and electrical design phase during 2012, as well as the studies related to the operation site, deployment is expected by October 2013.
Both prototypes will have grid connection by the end of 2013 when the electrical infrastructure of PLOCAN is available.
Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) is developing a new wave energy device (PowerBuoy®) in the Spanish coast under the WavePort EU project. In this project, OPT is collaborating in a consortium with University of Exeter, UK Intelligent Systems Research Institute, Fugro Oceanor, Wave Energy Centre (WavEC) and Degima SA. The project will build, deploy and demonstrate a commercial scale PowerBuoy® wave energy converter with an innovative Real Time Wave by Wave Tuning System. Forward knowledge of the approaching wavetrain delivered by the prediction system will allow advanced control of the PowerBuoy®, recovering more energy from the ocean and substantially improving the device efficiency. This will drive down the levelized cost of energy. The project has progressed well and the consortium forecasts deployment of the PowerBuoy and completion on the sea trials during 2013 and 2014.
Abengoa (MCE: ABG), an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, has set up a new business unit for ocean energy: Abengoa Seapower. One of the first activities of Abengoa Seapower has been its participation in the launch of Nautimus, the first ocean energy engineering firm. Nautimus, based in Scotland, is the world’s first engineering services company dedicated to wave and tidal energy. It has been established by Vattenfall, with support from Babcock and Abengoa. The company will fulfil the engineering, procurement, integration and construction (EPC) needs of wave power and tidal stream projects on behalf of utility clients.
Galicia Mar Renovables (GMR): During 2009, GMR tested in Ares Sea (A Coruña) a scaled 1:10 prototype of its wave energy converter: a floating point absorber with mechanical PTO. The next steps were the development and installation of a full-scale device in 2010 and a preindustrial prototype in the summer of 2011. This prototype generated 184 kWh with an installed capacity of 250 kWh during some trials without optimal sea conditions. These tests were partially funded by the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism. In 2012, GMR has started the consenting process to install two wave energy farms in Ferrol and Gijón, including an agreement between GMR and Instituto Enerxético de Galicia (INEGA). The Ferrol wave power plant is expected to be in operation in 2014.
GMR preindustrial buoy Artist impression of a GMR wave power plant
The Ukrainian company KROK-1 has started the first steps for the installation of a wave power plant in Spain. The so called VOWEPP project is based on a wave energy concept with a range of relevant differences to other existing concepts and has been patented in Ukraine (patent Nº56481). It consists of a floating device with relative movements produced by hydrodynamic pressure that creates a torque on working shafts connected to an electrical generator. The VOWEPP project has as main advantages a flexible energy-absorbing system that constantly changes its parameters under the influence of incoming waves of different period and height and high reliability in strong sea storms. These advantages lead to high efficiency conversion rates with low material use (up to 100 kg per kW) and low level of investment costs and cost of energy. More information available at www.vowepp.com.
Tank testing of OCEANTEC wave energy device