The summary in this section was provided by, Maja Wänström, Swedish Energy Agency (SEA)
During 2012, ongoing Swedish research, development and demonstration efforts related to ocean energy have continued to progress. While the financial climate and the high costs related to new energy conversion technology constitute challenges for developing companies, the area of ocean energy conversion has attracted the attention of universities and technical research institutes. Access to public funding remains vital to all stages of the ocean energy research and innovation process in Sweden.
The forefront of Swedish ocean energy technology development and demonstration is the consented 10 MW wave power demonstration project at Sotenäs, which commenced late 2011. During 2012, the developer Seabased Industry AB has undertaken preparation activities for site development, wave energy converter construction and grid connection for the first 1 MW phase of the demonstration park.
Ocean Energy Policy
Strategy and National Targets
The Swedish energy policy is based on the same foundations as energy cooperation in the EU and seeks to reconcile environmental sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply. The vision is that by 2050 Sweden has a sustainable and resource efficient supply of energy and no net emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In order to realize the vision and implement the EU Renewables Directive, the following national target for renewable energy and efficient use of energy in Sweden by 2020 has been set:
The share of renewable energy in 2020 should be at least 50%of total energy use.
The share of renewable energy in the transport sector should also be at least 10%.
A further goal is 20% more efficient energy use in 2020, expressed as a reduction in energy intensity of 20% between the years 2008-2020.
During 2012, EU member states have for the first time reported their performance under the Renewables Directive. The forecast in Sweden’s report shows that the country is in line to achieve its target by a slight margin.
Support Initiatives and Market Stimulation Incentives
Fundamental to the long-term Swedish energy policy are general economic policy instruments such as carbon tax, international emissions trading and tradable certificates for renewable electricity. From the perspective of ocean energy technology development, the renewable electricity certificate system (a tradable green certificate system) is the most relevant policy instrument.
The electricity certificate system is a market-based support system for cost-effective expansion of electricity production from renewable sources. By design, the system does not specifically target a particular renewable electricity conversion technology, i.e. is technology neutral. Electricity certificates are issued to those who produce electricity from one or more renewable energy sources, or from peat, and who have had their production plants approved by the Swedish Energy Agency. To date, certificates have been issued to producers of electricity from biofuels and peat, wind power, hydro power and solar electricity. While wave energy is one of the renewable energy sources for which producers would be eligible for certificates, none have been issued so far.
In 2011, Sweden and Norway entered into an agreement to form a joint electricity certificate market, which has been in operation since the beginning of 2012. Together with Norway, annual production from renewable sources in 2020 shall have increased by a further 13,2 TWh relative to production in 2012.
Main Public Funding Mechanisms
The main public funding mechanism for research, business- and technology development and technology demonstration are Swedish governmental agencies tasked to support academic and private sector R&D in the various stages of innovation. There is currently no one funding body with a dedicated funding scheme that targets ocean energy. Nonetheless, there are a number of governmental agencies from which researchers and developers can apply for funding.
The Swedish Research Council, www.vr.se, which, among other things, is tasked to fund fundamental research and expensive equipment for research purposes within a large number of topic areas.
The Swedish Energy Agency, www.energimyndigheten.se, is the Swedish agency responsible for facilitating a sustainable energy system in Sweden. As such, the agency funds research, business- and technology development and technology demonstration which is relevant for the sustainability of the energy system and the sustainability for the energy industry sectors.
The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), www.vinnova.se, supports business- and technology development. VINNOVA also acts as contact point for the European Community FP7 for research and development.
In addition, regional authorities are able to grant funding to varying extents.
Relevant Legislation and Regulation
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is currently working to implement a new system for marine spatial planning. Provisions for the plans will be incorporated into a new law which is expected to come into force during 2013. In order to establish test sites for research and development and sites or parks fo technology demonstration in Swedish marine environments, permits must be obtained from the local County Administration Board.
The permits are granted after an extensive environmental impact assessment court procedure.
Relevant Documents Released
Sveriges nationella handlingsplan för främjande av förnybar energi. Available at http://www.regeringen.se/ The Electricity Certificate System 2012, ET2012:32. Available at the webpage of the Swedish Energy Agency www.energimyndigheten.se.
Research & Development
At present there are no national programmes targeting ocean energy research and innovation. Instead, researchers and developers apply for project funding.
The Centre for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion at Electricity Uppsala University has been active in ocean energy research related to linear generator wave power technology and vertical axis low speed marine current technology since early 2000. Wave energy activities are focused on a full system approach including system modelling and control, generator and buoy design and model development. Marine current research projects include resource potential studies as well as system modelling from water currents.
In order to facilitate field testing and verification of research results, two research sites are operated by Uppsala University; the Lysekil wave power research site that has been in operation since 2006 and the Söderfors marine currents research site. At the Lysekil wave power research site wave climate can be monitored and environmental impact studies performed and the site has permits for up to 10 WECs that are operated for research purposes. The site is currently not grid connected. The Söderfors marine currents research site is located in Dalälven river between two hydropower plants. The research site is currentl being developed to enable in-river testing of a vertical axis and direct drive generator device for low speed marine currents.
Chalmers University of Technology
At Chalmers University of Technology ocean energy research projects on mooring design, power transmission and mooring fatigue started up in 2011. The research is being carried out at the departments of Shipping and Marine Technology and Energy and Environment in collaboration with the Ocean Energy Centre (OEC), which was also initiated in 2011.
OEC is an innovation platform for collaboration, cooperation and communication among ocean energy stakeholders hosted by the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers University of Technology. OEC is a partnership between the Swedish development companies Minesto, Ocean Harvesting Technologies, Vigor Wave Energy and Waves4Power, the technical research institutes SP and SSPA, Chalmers University of Technology and the Region of Västra Götaland, which is the main financial partner.
Government Funded R&D
Several research and development projects with public funding have been running during 2012:
CFE II – Center for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion II
CFE II is an extensive research project at the Center for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion at Uppsala University, in which a total of 14 graduate students carry out research related to wave power, vertical axis wind power and marine currents. CFE II is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, Uppsala University and the utilities Statkraft and Vattenfall.
Buoy-to-grid is an applied development project, financed by the EU European Regional Development Fund and the Region of Västra Götaland. It aims to support the development of common technical solutions for power, signal and communication transmission, from the power take-off at the offshore installation to
the main onshore power grid. The project is led by the technical research institute SP and carried-out in cooperation with the OEC partner organizations.
Mooring design and energy capture
The research project develops numerical models that can analyse how the mooring set-up alters the energy capture of wave energy devices. It is financed by the Region of Västra Götaland and carried-out by researchers at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers University of Technology, in collaboration with the OEC development companies.
The research project focuses on the power generation and control systems in wave energy devices and aims at finding optimal designs. It is financed by the Region of Västra Götaland and carried-out by researchers at the Division of Electric Power Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology, in collaboration with the OEC development companies.
Durability analysis of cables and moorings used in ocean energy systems
The research project focuses on fatigue challenges in electrical cables and moorings related to wave energy applications. It is financed by the Swedish Energy Agency and carried out by researchers at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology at Chalmers University of Technology, in collaboration with the OEC development companies.
Blue Energy is an industry study project that aims to develop a proposal for a national strategic research and innovation agenda for ocean energy, focusing on wave and tidal. The project is led by Chalmers University of Technology and carried out as a collaborative initiative between industry actors. Blue Energy is funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.
Development and performance trials of a tidal energy device
The project involves design, construct, test and deployment of a 1:4 scale device developed by Minesto at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The project is partly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.
High efficiency wave energy converters CorPower Ocean
The project is proof-of-concept verification of a wave power concept developed by CorPower Ocean and is carried out in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology, in Stockholm, WavEC in Lisbon, Portugal, and MARINTEK in Trondheim, Norway. The project is partly funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.
Participation in Collaborative International Projects
The Uppsala University Center for Renewable Electric Energy Conversion is participating in the Scandinavian ocean energy network Statkraft Ocean Energy Research Programme and a partner in the European KIC InnoEnergy. Uppsala University is also a partner in the EU project SOWFIA that aims to provide recommendations for approval process streamlining and helping to remove legal, environmental and socio-economic barriers to the development of offshore power generation from waves.
The developer Minesto is a partner in a joint development proposal which has been submitted together with a UK-based tidal energy developer and Norwegian and Portuguese partners. The company has also an ongoing R&D project with Bangor University related to sites in Wales.
Operational Ocean Energy Projects
The Sotenäs wave power demonstration project
Seabased Industry AB is developing and constructing complete system solutions for ocean wave energy, i.e. equipment to absorb energy in ocean waves, convert it to electricity and deliver the electric power to the grid. The Seabased activity is closely related to Uppsala University where the research of the concept was initiated and which is now being developed by Seabased. The Sotenäs Project started at the end of 2011, and it will result in the largest power plant built in the world for wave energy. The project is developed in two stages, the first stage will be built during 2012 and 2013. The second stage starts after stage one has been evaluated. Total installed power in the first stage is 1 MW, and the full power plant will have an installed power of 10 MW. The Sotenäs Project is partly funded by the power company Fortum and partly funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.