The revised 2012 version of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, adopted in 2011 and in force since 1 January 2012, is designed to facilitate a sustainable development of energy supply in Germany, to reduce the costs of energy supply to the national economy, to conserve fossil fuels, and to promote the further development of technologies for the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.
To achieve this purpose, the Act aims to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity supply to at least 35% by 2020 and 50% by no later than 2030; 65% by 2040 and 80% by no later than 2050, and to integrate these quantities of electricity in the electricity supply system.
The following definition has been adopted: “renewable energy sources” shall mean hydropower, including wave power, tidal power, salt gradient and flow energy, wind energy, solar radiation, geothermal energy, energy from biomass, including biogas, biomethane, landfill gas and sewage treatment gas, as well as the biodegradable fraction of municipal waste and industrial waste (source: Act on granting priority to renewable energy sources, 1 April 2012).
The tariff paid for electricity generated from hydropower, which includes the above mentioned ocean energy sources, amounts to 12.7 cents per kilowatt/hour for the first 500 kilowatts of the rated average annual capacity; 8.3 cents per kilowatt/hour for the rated average annual capacity between 500 kilowatts and 2 megawatts etc. and finally goes down to 3.4 cent for a capacity over 50 MW. The current Feed-in Tariff system includes a decrease of the tariff for hydropower by 1% per year, starting in 2013.
In 2013, the Ministry for the Environment was still in charge of funding research on renewable energies, including wave and tidal technologies. Details of the currently funded projects can be found in the 2012 country report. In addition, the Ministry of Economics and Technology runs the research programme “Next generation maritime technologies”, which is valid for the period 2011-2015 and covers shipbuilding, navigation and maritime technologies. Marine energy technologies are explicitly mentioned under the strategic objectives for maritime technologies due to the significant future opportunities these offer. Consequently, R&D projects with regard to ocean energy technologies are in principle eligible under this programme.
In the public sector, around 15 R&D institutes and universities are involved into developing wave, tidal current and osmotic power mainly in the framework of European research projects. The National funding in the framework of the national energy research programme for renewable energies was approximately €160 million in 2011. This programme is open to ocean energy research. Up to now, six technology projects related to the development of components and concepts for tidal turbines and wave energy components have been funded by the federal Environment Ministry (BMU) with a total amount of around €7 million. For details please see the 2012 country report for Germany.
Former Siemens subsidiary, Marine Current Turbines (MCT), responsible for the yearlong successful operation of the 1.2 MW SeaGen S device at Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, was sold to Singapore based Atlantis Resources Limited in mid - 2015 after being acquired by Siemens in 2012.
Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies, former joint venture of Voith Hydro and Innogy Venture Capital and being behind the testing of the HyTide 1000-16 tidal turbine demonstrator at EMEC in 2013 and 2014, have terminated these activities.
In July 2015, a consortium consisting of SCHOTTEL HYDRO, Fraunhofer IWES, the Institute for Fluid- and Thermodynamics (IFT) at the University of Siegen, Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) and Potsdam Model Basin (SVA), has started the project “TidalPower”, which will run for three years. The aim of the project is to facilitate the deployment of the first prototype of the semi-submersible tidal power platform “TRITON” at the FORCE tidal research centre at the Bay of Fundy, Canada. The TRITON, developed by SCHOTTEL HYDRO subsidiary TidalStream Ltd., carries 40 SCHOTTEL Instream Turbines, reaching a total nominal power output of 2.5 MW. It will be built and delivered by SCHOTTEL HYDRO subsidiary Black Rock Tidal Power.
The Project “Development and Optimization of a Drive Train for Tidal Current Turbines” by ANDRITZ HYDRO was successfully finished in 2015 after running for more than two and a half years. Details of the project outcome have not been published yet.
The EpoSil (Electro-Active Polymers Based on Silicon for Power Generation) project, conducted by Robert Bosch GmbH, Bosch Rexroth, Wacker Chemie AG, Brinkmeyer & Partner, Technical University of Darmstadt and Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, ended in early2015. Its aim was to research electro-active polymers for wave power and potentially other applications. An appropriate polymer and a small scale point absorber demonstrator have been developed in the course of the project and being researched at the Hamburg test basin.
The NEMOS GmbH develops a wave energy converter consisting of an elongated floating body, which is
Wave power developer SINN Power GmbH announced in late 2015 that their first wave power module has been successfully installed on the Island of Crete, Greece, and has generated power from ocean waves (source: www.sinnpower.com).
Other German suppliers, such as Bosch Rexroth, Schaeffler, Contitech, Thyssen Krupp, Hunger Hydraulik and Hydac, deliver components and parts for a number of ocean energy devices – for wave as well as tidal turbine technologies mainly in Europe.
Certification companies such as the DNV Gl-Group and consultants are contributing to the technology and project development in the sector. This international collaboration demonstrates the technology export opportunities, which exist in ocean energy for the German industry.