Last year, the Portuguese Government mentioned their intention to attract more national and international investment for the economy of the sea, recognizing the need to support the development of new technological platforms linked to research, innovation, science and technology, related to maritime sectors, including oceanic renewable energies.
AW-Energy submitted the licensing application for their 5.6 MW NER300 winning SWELL project; the Australian developer Bombora Wave Power is taking the first steps towards the development of a prototype planned to be tested in Portugal.
OCEAN ENERGY POLICY
During 2016, the Government established an Inter-Ministerial Commission for Maritime Affairs (CIAM) and created an inter-ministerial Working Group, called ‘Energy at Sea’, with the mission of discussing a “development model that ensures the rationalization of the means used to develop offshore electricity”, aiming at “enhancing investment in R&D, including technological demonstration projects and pre-commercial projects in this area.” This group prepared the report “Energy at Sea - Roadmap to an Industrial Strategy for Oceanic Renewable Energies” which includes a set of recommendations for attracting investment in this area. It concludes that there is a clear opportunity to attract projects to Portugal, highlighting that the realization of these projects in Portugal and the creation of value around them should be a priority of the Working Group on Marine Renewable Energy.
The report (Portuguese version) is public available at:
Ocean energy projects in Portugal require the following licenses:
The Operational Programme of the national strategic reference framework 2014-2020, known as Portugal 2020, is the main instrument for business investment, defining the financing priorities in the application of the European Structural and Investment Funds in Portugal. It is comprised of four thematic Operational Programmes and seven regional Operational
Programmes directly addressed to the promotion of research and innovation in the regions concerned. In particular, 2 topics can address marine energy technology: competitiveness and internationalization through COMPETE 2020 Programme and sustainability and efficient use of resources through POSEUR Programme.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
WavEC is a founding member of the European Ocean Energy Association (OEE) and associate member of the European Energy Research Alliance.
In 2016, WavEC coordinated two European funded projects (WETFEET and OCEANET) and was further strongly involved in a number of R&D projects mainly funded by the European Commission and by the national Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), through the Oceanera-net funding programme.
Under the scope of the OCEANIC project, WavEC has deployed in August 2016 an experimental structure to test different coating techniques. The structure was designed and assembled in WavEC premises and was installed in the WaveRoller test site location.
The 18 months H2020 project RICORE ended in 2016 with a public event during EUSEW 2016 (European Union Sustainable Energy Week). More information about RICORE is available on the project website (http://ricore-project.eu/).
In the scope of the four-year Marie Curie funded OCEANET project two workshops took place in 2016, one in Sweden (Environmental impact & monitoring of offshore renewable energy farms) and a second one in Ireland (Social and economic impacts of offshore renewable energy). WavEC lectured the environment and economic modules in both courses, respectively.
The Atlantic Power Cluster project was one of the five winners of the Atlantic Project Award in September 2016. The Atlantic Project Awards ceremony was held during the 3rd Atlantic Stakeholder Platform Conference in Dublin on September 27, 2016. These awards were designed to honour outstanding success stories, achieved by projects in the geographical area covered by the Atlantic Strategy and related to the implementation of the Atlantic Action Plan. WavEC took a relevant participation in this EU funded project that aimed to apply a marine renewable transnational strategy in the Atlantic area.
Following previous years, the activity at IDMEC concentrated on wave energy conversion, especially the development of new types of oscillating water column converters (OWCs) and self-rectifying air turbines. An important area of research at IDMEC is latching control of floating and fixed-structure OWC converters, taking advantage of the new types of air turbines fitted with fast valves.
IDMEC/IST is a partner in the WETFEET project (European H2020 programme); their involvement concerns mainly the experimental development of a high-efficiency twin-rotor radial-inflow self-rectifying air turbine. IDMEC/IST is also a partner in the OPERA project (H2020), in which they are developing the biradial self-rectifying air turbine with a new type of fixed guide vanes. Model testing took place at IST in 2016. Also within the framework of the OPERA project, a prototype of the biradial turbine was designed jointly by IDMEC/IST and the Portuguese company Kymaner, and is being constructed to be field-tested in 2017, firstly at one of the OWCs of the Mutriku breakwater (Basque Country, Spain) and subsequently, also in the Bay of Biscay, on the spar-buoy OWC of the Spanish company Oceantec.
Ocean energy is a major area in the diversified activity of CENTEC/IST. The activities at CENTEC in ocean energy involved a wide range of topics covering waves, tidal currents and offshore wind. The characterization of the wave energy resource (and to a much lesser extent tidal and offshore wind energies) at various oceanic locations in the world has been one of the dominant topics. The study of ocean energy conversion focused mainly on wave energy converters, with numerical theoretical/modelling of several types of devices and arrays, and also PTOs (namely hydraulic-circuit PTOs).
OPEN SEA TEST SITES
In 2016 a discussion was initiated towards moving the localisation of the Portuguese Pilot zone from São Pedro de Moel to Póvoa de Varzim, where the Offshore wind prototype Windfloat has been tested for 3 years. In this area two wave energy projects were tested in the past, the AWS in 2004 and Pelamis in 2006. The underwater electrical cable has been always the same, installed since the first wave energy tests in that site.
In 2016, only one project on wave energy was running in Portugal, Pico Plant on the Island of Pico, Azores. It is a shoreline OWC (Oscillating Water Column) wave energy pilot plant (www.pico-owc.net) built in 1995-1998 with support from the European Commission, and operated by WavEC. In 2016 the plant produced 39 MWh.
It has been decided to decommission the plant, which has achieved 10 years of continuous operation, with interruptions for maintenance and replacement of components. During this period, Pico plant has allowed to develop and test maintenance methodologies, as well as to validate numerical simulation codes, further providing training for several researchers, including PhD studies.
During year, AW-Energy provided two major milestones for the whole emerging industry as in June Lloyd’s Register awarded its first ever Technology Qualification certificate in the domain of ocean energy to WaveRoller technology. Another significant milestone was the €10 million financing contract secured from the European Investment Bank, taking ocean energy among the industries financed by the bank. Both milestones are major steps towards commercial bankability of the ocean energy technologies.
In Portugal, AW-Energy is currently working with its partners and customers in three different projects. Delivery of the first commercial 350 kW rated machine is at finalization phase and the unit is rolling out from the assembly line during the spring time 2017. In addition to this project, the company is currently working with an industrial consortium looking to install three more 350 kW units during 2018-2019, and the licensing of the 5.6MW NER300 winning SWELL project has been planned to start during 2017.
Bombora Wave Power
The Australian company, Bombora Wave Power, is planning its first real scale deployment in Europe and is considering to undertake the project in Peniche. The company has been preparing the documentation to apply for the licensing process in Portugal and is now looking for potential partners.
2nd International Conference on Renewable Energies Offshore
Presentations are available at WavEC’s website: http://www.wavec.org/en/events/wavec_seminar_2016
MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING POLICY
In March 2015, the Portuguese Law 38/2015 was created laying down the bases for the Planning and Management of the National Maritime Space (LBOGEM), defining the legal framework that allows for the implementation of marine spatial plans in the whole national maritime space, including the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles.
• Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA);
• License for water resources utilization – managed by the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA). This license is the main consent required and can be authorized through a license or concession:
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
However, this decision still has to be confirmed by the licensing authority. If any part of the installation is located in an ecological reserve, Natura 2000 or a protected area (within one of the previous location/sites), an Environmental Effects Assessment (EIncA) has to be performed. The EIncA is a less demanding administrative instrument than the so called EIA. The entity responsible for the decision on whether an EIA/EIncA is required is the CCDR if it is a license, or APA if it is a concession.
The baseline survey is usually made through desk based studies although some developers of the few projects that have been installed in Portugal have carried out some baseline studies as required in the declaration of the EIA.
Monitoring is usually part of the EIA declaration issued as part of the environmental license. In Portugal the onerous post-deployment monitoring have been required for some marine renewable energy projects. Evidences should be given in periodic reports that monitoring in being carried out, and its results are usually analyzed by the Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICNF).
LEGISLATION AND REGULATION
Decree Law 225/2007, of 31 May, amends previous legislation on electricity production to accommodate electricity production from renewable sources and establishes regulation on the EIA process for such kind of projects.
Advices are asked by the licensing authority to a number of statutory consultees namely Institute of Nature Conservation, port authorities and a number of public authorities responsible for marine resources management.
There are informal consultation activities implemented during the licensing process: usually developers prepare a number of informal public events to disseminate the project and collect the public feed-back on their activities at sea.
GUIDANCE AND ADVICE