Country Reports


SUPPORTING POLICIES FOR OCEAN ENERGY


NATIONAL STRATEGY
In 2016, the Government together with several other political parties agreed on a long term bipartisan energy policy for Sweden. The agreement includes a target of 100 percent renewable electricity production by 2040 and no net emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2045.

Additionally, in 2015, the Ministry of Enterprises, Energy and Communications enacted a national maritime strategy1 which identifies areas where action is needed to promote a sustainable development in the Swedish maritime sector. Ocean energy is one of many areas included, and there is on-going work to identify indicators for each area to track progress and its impact on the vision of the maritime strategy.


MARKET INCENTIVES
The long-term Swedish energy policy relies on economic policy instruments, including a carbon tax, international emissions trading and a renewable electricity certificate system. All these instruments provide incentives for renewable energy and do not specifically target a particular renewable electricity conversion technology, i.e. are technology neutral. There are no instruments in place to specifically incentivise ocean energy deployment.


PUBLIC FUNDING PROGRAMMES
Swedish governmental agencies support academic and private sector R&D at various stages of technology maturity. Funding providers include:

  • The Swedish Energy Agency, www.energimyndigheten.se, is responsible for facilitating a sustainable energy system in Sweden. As such, the agency funds research, business and technology development and technology demonstration relevant to the sustainability of the energy system and the energy industry sectors.
     
  • 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 Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), www.vinnova.se, supports business and technology development.

In addition, regional authorities may also grant funding.

In 2015, the Swedish Energy Agency initiated a national ocean energy programme with the aim to strengthen research and development capabilities and increase the cooperation between and within academia and industry. The programme will run for four years and has a total budget of around €5,7 million (53 MSEK).

A total of 16 projects have been provided with funding from the programme. The programme is now being evaluated in parallel with the planning of a new programme stage. The activities and priorities of the new programme are guided by the Swedish Energy Agency’s strategy for research and support to ocean energy, which was finalised in 2017 and is available on the website2.

The Swedish Energy Agency is also involved in OCEANERA-NET and OCEANERA-NET Cofund, which are collaborations between national/regional funding organisations, and EU to support the ocean energy sector and fund transnational projects.



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1. A summary in English can be found here: http://www.government.se/contentassets/9e9c9007f0944165855630ab4f59de01/a-swedish-maritime-strategy--for-people-jobs-and-the-environment
2. http://www.energimyndigheten.se/nyhetsarkiv/2017/energimyndigheten-antar-strategi-for-havsenergi/


RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Swedish companies, universities and institutes were involved with several research and development projects during 2017. Below are just a few examples.

R&D of dynamic low voltage cables between the buoy and floating hub in a marine energy system
Participants: Chalmers Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, CorPower Ocean AB, Seaflex Energy Systems, Waves-4Power, NKT Cables AB, Minesto and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB
The project started in 2015 and will end during 2018. The objective of the project is to strengthen the ocean energy sector by establishing performance and design criteria to deliver a subsea electrical cable for dynamic environments. A mathematical model for power cables with fixings will be developed to simulate the cable movements and to calculate the fatigue failure of the electrical conductor. The model will be calibrated using different variants of prototype cables which will be produced by NKT Cables and tested in field trials for typically six months at the test facility at Runde Environmental Centre in Norway. Based on the model and field tests, a method for laboratory accelerated fatigue tests will be designed, set up and evaluated.

ELASTMOOR - Elastic mooring systems for wave energy converters
Participants: University of Lisbon, Chalmers Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, Seaflex Energy Systems and Waves4Power
The project is an OCEANERA-NET research project, started in 2017 and will end during 2020. The project aims to improve the knowledge of using elastic mooring lines for wave energy applications. It will be achieved by collecting data from (i) laboratory testing of rubber, polyester and nylon lines, and of the coupled system of mooring and floater in an ocean basin test, and (ii) full scale field tests of Waves4Power’s wave energy converter. The results from the laboratory tests will be used for (iii) full scale field tests of a mooring in Portugal and (iv) the development of constitutive models which will be implemented in an in-house mooring dynamics numerical model. The simulation tool will be used to analyse the durability of mooring systems. Reliability analysis will be used to consider the statistical variability in parameters that have an influence on fatigue life.

Direct drive generator development
Participant: Royal Institute of Technology
The project is developing a new type of linear generator of transverse flux type that is predicted to be very efficient, low-cost and force dense. A prototype is being built in the lab of the Royal Institute of Technology which is aimed to demonstrate the technology. The prototype is to be demonstrated during the Spring of 2018.

Powerkite - Power Take-off System for a Subsea Tidal Kite
Participants: Midroc, ENGIE Lab Laborelec, Minesto, Chalmers University of Technology, Queen’s University Belfast, SSPA Sweden AB, AC&E, UW-ELAST AB and MoorLink Solutions AB
The project that has received funding from the European Commission started late 2015. It aims to develop a next-generation technology of tidal and ocean current power plant. During 2017, SSPA worked with the development of a more efficient turbine.


System design and development of wave power systems with centralized conversion to electricity (in a hub), and combining buoy and power take-off technologies
Participants: Ocean Harvesting Technologies AB, CorPower Ocean AB and Waves4Power
The project was funded by the Swedish Energy Agency and private investors and was completed during 2017. The objective of the project was to investigate whether hydraulic collection of power from wave energy converters to a central collection tower with gravitational energy storage and conversion to electricity can provide lower electricity production cost than more common de-centralized systems where electricity is generated directly in the buoy. The project demonstrated that in some cases the annual power capture could be increased by 10% with a hydraulic PTO. Nevertheless, the final electric output was reduced by 5% with the hydraulic system due to higher losses. Different storage capacities in the central gravitational energy storage were also investigated.


MaRINET2
SSPA and Uppsala University are partners in the project MaRINET2 within the Horizon 2020 programme. The aim of the project is to facilitate research infrastructures for offshore renewable energy. SSPA has three major test facilities that are well suited for marine energy scale testing. Uppsala University operates the open sea wave test site Lysekil.


Testsite Skagerrak
“Testsite Skagerrak” aims to develop the opportunity for a common innovative environment that offers Swedish and international players both biological as well as technical offshore testing and demonstration sites. By combining and finding synergies in R&D activities in marine biomass, marine energy systems, underwater technology, etc., this development can be strengthened and coordinated into attractive offers. Customers are development companies, subcontractors, researchers and national and international R&D projects that can make use of the facilities. “Testsite Skagerrak” is in a planning phase to determine needs, focus areas and organizational set-up. The project is supported by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova), Västra Götaland region and Fyrbodal municipality.

 


TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION


OPEN SEA TEST SITES
 

The Lysekil wave energy research test site
The wave energy research group at Uppsala University tests full scale devices and technology solutions at a research test site outside the town Lysekil at the west coast of Sweden. The test site is part of the MaRINET2 network. It has been grid connected since November 2015.

During 2017, a signal cable and a 230 V cable to the islet Klammerskären (where there is an observation tower and plans for communication equipment) were installed. Improvements in the measuring station were made. A sea based wave power plant was installed and connected to the land cable in June. A new Uppsala University wave power plant with buoy was installed and connected to dump load with dry-mate connectors.

Marine environmental studies have also been undertaken. A sonar platform with hydrophone, C-Pods and video camera were deployed to detect and track seals and fish that swim close to a WEC. Visual observations using scuba diving were made to collect data about macro fauna around the bio fundaments. Cage fishing was applied inside the Lysekil research test site and respective control areas east and west of the wave power test park to investigate macro decapods and give insight of abundance, difference in size and gender and their distribution.


OPERATIONAL PROJECTS
The only projects that are implemented in Swedish waters are the Lysekil wave power project, Söderfors marine current project and Sotenäs project.

Lysekil wave power site and Söderfors marine current site are operated by Uppsala University. At Lysekil, two new wave power plant installations were made during 2017. At Söderfors, a vertical marine current plant is being tested.

The Sotenäs project was initiated in November 2011 and 36 wave energy generators have been deployed along with the subsea generator switchgear. The Sotenäs project was funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, the power company Fortum and by Seabased Industry AB. The wave park was originally constructed for and delivered to the Finnish power company Fortum. In a recent agreement, Seabased will take over ownership of the wave park itself in order to continue its development.

60034-se-1.jpgDeployment of wave energy generators in the Sotenäs project

 

Waves4Power is another Swedish company demonstrating one full scale wave power device at sea; however the demonstration takes place at Runde test site in Norway. The installation was launched in February 2016 and is partly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency. On 2 June 2017, the device was connected to the grid and started delivering electricity. A couple of months after that a seminar was held for investors, development partners and local community and H. M. King Harald V of Norway helped cut the ribbon and inaugurate the WaveEL system. Due to damage to two of the mooring lines of the WaveEL buoy, Waves4Power chose to tow the buoy to Fiskåholmen in late November 2017, a month earlier than first planned. A thorough analysis of the mooring system with an assessment of what happened was initiated. The buoy, however, is intact.


PLANNED DEPLOYMENTS
The deployments by Swedish developers planned for the near future will take place outside of Sweden.

Minesto develops a technology called Deep Green that can produce electricity from low-velocity tidal and ocean currents. The technology has been tested with scale model prototypes at the company’s test and demonstration facilities in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, since 2011. This testing continued during 2017.

In 2017, Minesto engaged in the development, manufacturing, assembling and preparation for offshore activities of the first device in commercial scale. Commissioning is expected to commence in 2018 and will take place at Holyhead Deep, 8 km outside the coast of northern Wales. Minesto has received funding from KIC Innoenergy and European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

CorPower Ocean develops a compact high-efficiency wave energy converter, inspired by the pumping principles of the human heart. In the current HiWave Stage 3 programme, a large-scale wave energy converter was taken through dry testing in a Hardware-in-the-loop rig in Stockholm during 2017. This is followed by ocean deployment at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) Scapa Flow test site in January 2018.

The project is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, KIC Innoenergy and Wave Energy Scotland. Stage 3 demonstration is supported by best practice from EMEC in Orkney, alongside the experience from offshore power generation company Iberdrola Engineering and EDP, the University of Edinburgh and WavEC Offshore Renewables expertise in cost and performance modelling. Next step after verification of Stage 3 is planning for Stage 4 & 5 programme involving dry and ocean testing of full scale wave energy system between 2018 and 2020 followed by a first array installation 2020-2022.

58717-se-2.jpg

CorPower’s wave energy converter


Waves4Power has started the development of the Next Generation WaveEL 4.0 buoy. The aim is to replace steel in the buoy hull and acceleration tube with polymeric materials, to the extent possible. The development is on-going with the same partners as before, i.e. Siemens, Parker, NKT Cables, Petronas, SSAB and Jotun, but with the addition of Borealis AG from Austria, as a new key contributor on polymeric materials. The next generation system will utilize the same conversion system principle and mooring system that has now been proven over several trials, but simplifications will be implemented to cut CAPEX and OPEX substantially for the lifetime of the wave power system. Cooperation with Stryvo Group in Norway to develop best manufacturing practices in combination with access to Fiskåholmen shipyard and the deep port next to the shipyard will secure cost-efficient production and material handling for the future high-volume production of WaveEL 4.0 buoys.

Seabased has signed a contract for a wave energy park in Ghana. The Ada Project was initiated in November 2014 and the first step in a large planned build-up of wave power in Ghana, off the coast of Ada, is under development. Seabased participates as main contractor and equipment supplier to TC’s Energy, Ghana.

 


RELEVANT NATIONAL ACTIVITIES


Annual conference in the Offshore Väst project and network, 18-19 October, in Lerum, Sweden
Several projects on wave and offshore wind energy were presented to the audience. The presentations were held by Chalmers University of Technology, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB, and the companies Sigma Energy & Marine, FlowOcean and Ocean Elements.


MARENER2017, 24-25 January, on WMU in Malmö, Sweden
This two-day conference had a session where several presentations on wave energy were presented. Uppsala University and Chalmers University of Technology gave a number of presentations.

MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING POLICY
New Swedish legislation on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is in force from 1 September 2014.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is preparing the forthcoming national marine spatial plans.

There are no pre-selected areas for oceans energy. Instead, there are national interest areas for offshore wind. Within areas of national interest, it is not allowed to undertake activities that can seriously harm the designated values or undertake activities that significantly complicate the intended use of the area.

AUTHORITIES INVOLVED
Permits according to the environmental code are granted by the Environmental Courts with the input from the County Administrative Boards. Ocean energy projects may also need consent regarding the continental shelf act. These applications are handled by County Administrative Board.

CONSENTING PROCESS
The local County Administrative Board should be contacted and informed in the beginning of the process.

A consultation will then be held between the County Administrative Board, the municipality environmental service committee and the person applying for permit.

At the consultation there will be discussions about the planned activity, environmental impact and the future process. After that a consultation will be held with others particularly affected by the plans. If the plans. If the plans are likely to have a significant environmental impact it is mandatory to have a bigger consultation with other authorities. The next step for the applicant is to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and send together with the application to Environmental Court (this should be made within one year after the consultation or a new consultation might be needed). The Environmental Court will then decide if permit is given (supplementary information might be required before). A granted permit is in turn associated with conditions that must be met by the applicant. It is also possible that the Environmental Court determines different compensation measures like a fish fee.

Whether it is clear or not to applicants what permits are required, in what order and what information must be supplied at what time, depends on the applicant’s experience of earlier consenting process.

There is no specific authority that manages the whole ocean energy consenting process (“one stop shop” facility or entity). Instead there are several authorities involved and they also manage other consenting processes.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Currently an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is always required.

However, the level of detail and scope of necessary investigations naturally varies depending on the character of the project. This legislation is currently under review and it is possible it will be altered. Permits usually contain conditions regarding monitoring the environmental effects of the project.

LEGISLATION AND REGULATION
The consenting process for ocean energy is regulated by the environmental legislation in the environmental code (miljӧbalken).

The environmental code is a framework legislation which contains certain special rules applicable to water-related activities. These provisions are however applicable not only to ocean energy but to dams, building bridges, traditional hydropower, etc. There are no special rules applicable only to ocean energy.

No legislation and regulation have been adapted to better suit ocean energy so far. Swedish water-law is currently being reviewed and it has been suggested that more water-related activities are made subject only to notification and not a full permit-process. However nothing has yet been decided.

CONSULTATION
A consultation is done early in the process. It is the applicant the entity responsible for its implementation and that it follows all rules.

In the first consultation with the authorities there will be discussions about the planned activity, environmental impact and the future process. In the next consultation others particularly affected by the plans will receive a written invitation. General organizations and public are invited through an ad in the newspaper. Discussions will be about the location, scale, design and environmental impact of the activity all well as content of the EIA. In case of a bigger consultation, the identified parties will receive a written invitation.

Statutory consultation is required with the County Administrative Board, municipality environment steering committee and others particularly affected by the plans. Of the plans are likely to have a significant environmental impact it is mandatory to have a bigger consultation.

GUIDANCE AND ADVICE
Information of the process is available on the homepages of the County Administrative Boards. The Swedish Energy Agency has also developed a website together with other government authorities which explains the consenting process for wind power plants, including offshore plants (only in Swedish). This site also includes web map service integrated with e-service for consenting applications.

TEST CENTERS
In both testing sites in Sweden, Lysekil wave power research site and Söderfors marine currents research site, there is no specific consenting process.