During 2015, the Sotenäs project, which is planned to become one of the largest wave energy parks in the world, progressed. In the end of 2015, all 36 generators for the first stage were in place, and the subsea generator switchgear was deployed and connected to the Swedish national grid. The wave park, situated at the Swedish west coast, will start producing electricity to the grid as soon as the buoys are connected to the generators. Several other Swedish development companies have made progress during the year and are preparing for demonstration of their techniques in the ocean. Finally the wave energy research site Lysekil has been grid connected during 2015.
SUPPORTING POLICIES FOR OCEAN ENERGY
NATIONAL STRATEGY AND TARGETS
The Swedish energy policy is based on the same foundations as the energy cooperation in the European Union (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 20-20-20-targets, the following national targets for renewable energy, reduction of carbon emission and efficient use of energy in Sweden by 2020 have been set:
- The share of renewable energy in 2020 should be at least 50 percent of total energy use.
- The share of renewable energy in the transport sector should also be at least 10 percent.
- A 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels.
- A further goal is 20 percent more efficient energy use in 2020, expressed as a reduction in energy intensity of 20 percent between the years 2008-2020.
The forecast for Sweden in 2015 is that in 2020 the first three goals will be achieved with margin, while the last goal concerning efficient energy use is more uncertain.
In 2015, the Ministry of Enterprises, Energy and Communications finished the work on a national maritime strategy, which has identified areas where actions are needed, in order to promote a sustainable development in the Swedish maritime sector. Ocean energy is one of many areas which are included. A summary in English can be found here:
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 has 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, the annual production from renewable sources in 2020 shall have increased by 28,4 TWh relative to production in 2012.
PUBLIC FUNDING PROGRAMMES
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 are a number of governmental agencies from which researchers and developers can apply for funding.
- 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 of 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 are able to grant funding to varying extents. In the beginning of 2015, the Swedish Energy Agency started a national ocean energy programme that will run for four years with a total budget of around €5,7 million (53 MSEK). The aim is to strengthen the research and development being done in the area and increase the cooperation between and within academia and industry. In the first call, 7 projects were approved of funding. There were companies, institute and universities involved in the projects and they covered topics such as environmental assessment, technology development, improvement of models, etc. A second call has recently opened.
MARINE SPATIAL PLANNING POLICY
The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management is preparing the forthcoming national marine spatial plans. The marine spatial plans will provide guidance for authorities and municipalities when planning for where different activities can take place. The marine spatial plans will be directional (non-binding) during the consenting process, although the Government may adopt separate binding regulations linked to the plans prohibiting or limiting activities in destined geographical areas. During 2015, a proposal for the direction of marine spatial planning has been developed in order to clarify and support the continuing work.
There are two research sites in Sweden, Lysekil wave power research site and Söderfors marine currents research site. Both sites are operated by Uppsala University. Interest has been expressed to expand the Lysekil wave power research site and thus allow access to other universities and developers from Sweden and Europe.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
KEY R&D INSTITUTIONS AND RELEVANT R&D PROJECTS
The Division of Electricity at Uppsala University conducts research on wave energy technology and hydrokinetic energy conversion from tidal currents and rivers. Today, the wave power research group consists of 19 PhD students and 13 senior researchers. Uppsala University operates two research sites: Lysekil wave power research site and Söderfors marine current research site. The Swedish Energy Agency is supporting some theoretical and experimental works related to the Lysekil project, as well as some theoretical work behind the Söderfors project:
The Lysekil project: During 2015, the Lysekil research site was grid connected. Further on, two WECs were deployed and operated. A new signal cable has been installed between the measurement cabin and marine substation. Preparations have been made for installation of a sonar system for marine environmental, as well as technical monitoring; a new echo-sounder is also ready to be deployed. A force measurement buoy has been installed with the purpose to measure the wave forces during storms.
Söderfors project: The Söderfors marine currents research site is located in Dalälven River and consist of a 7,5 kW vertical axis turbine with a directly driven permanent generator. It is connected to a measurement cabin on land. Preparations for grid connection are in progress.
Two new research projects have started recently financed by the Swedish Energy Agency. One is about studying and improving performance and survivability of large scale wave energy farms. The other project is about studying fish and crustaceans (ecosystem services) in relation to wave energy installation.
Söderfors project, when the marine current energy converter was being deployed
CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Research in marine renewables is mainly performed at the Department of Shipping and Marine Technology and at the Department of Energy and Environment. The research can be broadly divided into hydrodynamics, structures, energy conversion, environment and industrialization:
- Hydrodynamics: Chalmers are carrying out several projects in the use of nonlinear hydrodynamic simulations using CFD, fully nonlinear potential flow solver and asymptotic wave equations.
- In a recently finished project supported by the Region of Västra Götaland a method to perform coupled mooring analysis using CFD was developed. This work is extended in a project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.
- Chalmers is partner in the MIDWEST project, approved by the OCEANERA-Net consortia, focusing on developing medium-fidelity hydrodynamic models based on Boussinesq-type wave equations and multi-fidelity optimization.
- Structural dynamics: Chalmers work in structural dynamics for wave energy applications focuses mainly on cables, both mooring cables and electrical cables.
- In a project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, the durability of electrical cables and moorings cables used in systems for harvesting of renewable ocean energy is analysed.
- Chalmers is also partner in a Danish project (EUDP funded) that aims at designing, testing and developing cost efficient mooring solutions for large, slack moored, floating wave energy converters.
- Energy conversion: In a project sponsored by the Region of Västra Götaland and Chalmers Energy Initiative, life cycle cost analysis of the generator with its converter system is performed in order to find designs with low total cost.
- Environment: Models on fish tidal turbine collisions have been developed. The model can also be scaled up to handle arrays of turbines, making it a possible tool for marine spatial planning and management. Collaboration with the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management regarding marine ecological risk assessment (ERA) and models for marine spatial planning is ongoing.
- Marine energy resources:Research on a relatively quick method to establish the existing tidal current energy resource to identify locations for tidal energy plants has also been published.
- Industrialization: Chalmers are carrying out a project looking into policy for industrializing marine energy technologies.
Most projects are carried out in collaboration with technology companies, such as Waves4Power, Minesto and Wave Dragon.
Other relevant universities are Blekinge Institute of Technology that has supported the company Ocean Harvesting Technologies AB with development of simulation models and facilities for the test rig, as well as KTH Royal Institute of Technology that has supported the company CorPower Ocean AB.
SP TECHNICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF SWEDEN
SP applies its competence to the development and evaluation of technologies, material, products, and processes to meet its customers’ needs and provide an effective link between academic research and industry. SP consists of six business areas and several technical departments. One of many research areas are ocean energy. Some of the projects in which SP is involved in are:
- OffshoreVäst, a cluster organisation, owned by its consortium members of dedicated companies, universities, institutes and authorities. SP acts as host organisation and its main focus is to provide support for the offshore sector in Sweden through a setup of projects and strategies. SP leads and coordinates the work package concerning offshore energy production from wind, wave and current.
- Maritime Cluster of West Sweden, the maritime sector is an area of strength and therefore a prioritized area in public efforts to create innovation platforms and infrastructures. Between 2008 and 2012 the Region of Västra Götaland was financially involved in approximately 100 projects. In an attempt to strengthen the maritime development in West Sweden, the stakeholders in the innovation system have joined forces in a maritime cluster-project. The purpose of the project is to increase innovation and business development. The method used is increased contact and collaboration between the maritime business sector and research. SP leads and coordinates the work package concerning marine energy and seafood.
- Members of Ocean Energy Europe and steering group committee of TP Ocean for the ocean energy forum.
- SP is involved in two projects - OCEANIC and RiaSoR that has been approved by OCEANERA-Net consortia. The projects focus on antifouling and reliability.
- SP is at the moment involved in two projects that have received funding from the Swedish Energy Agency with focus on reliability (structural and electrical).
For 75 years SSPA Sweden has performed development in ship design and operations within the maritime sector, in close cooperation with industry and society. Several areas are related to ocean energy and SSPA has been involved in various projects in the field. SSPA's three major test facilities are also utilized in the model testing of various marine energy devices.
Together with 9 other organizations from four countries, SSPA is involved in the project Powerkite- Power Takeoff System for a Subsea Tidal Kite. The project has recently been accepted and contract signed by the European Commission. Six of the parties (Minesto, SSPA, Chalmers, MoorLink, Midroc and UW Elast) are Swedish. The project intends to develop a next generation technology of tidal and ocean current power plant. The aim is to create greater experience of operation in full scale and improve structural and power performance in the energy conversion system.
The only projects that are developed and operational in Sweden, although not commercialised, are the Lysekil wave power project and the previously mentioned Söderfors marine current project. Both are operated by Uppsala University. The Lysekil wave power project installed the first wave energy converter in 2006. The installed capacity is 200 kW but with a new permission to install 20 more wave energy converters which open up for external actors to test their technique. At least two more wave energy converters are being planned for deployment at the Lysekil research site during the first half of 2016. For the Söderfors marine current project, the energy converter was deployed in Dalälven on 7 March 2013.
The Sotenäs Project was initiated in November 2011 and is planned to become one of the largest wave power plants in the world. When completed, it will have a total installed power of 10 MW. The technology is based on a point absorber connected to a linear generator on the sea bed. The project is developed in two stages, in the first stage 36 wave energy converters, corresponding to 1 MW, have been deployed. In the end of 2015 the subsea generator switchgear was also deployed and connected to the Swedish national grid via a 10 km subsea cable. A number of generators have also been connected to the subsea switchgear and the wave park will consequently start producing electricity to the grid as soon as the buoys are connected to the generators.
The second 9 MW stage will be launched subsequent to the evaluation of the first 1 MW. The Sotenäs Project is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, the power company Fortum and by Seabased Industry AB. Seabased was founded in 2001 as a spinoff from the wave energy converter research carried out at Uppsala University.
Seabased has also signed a contract for a large wave energy plant in Ghana, totalling 14 MW. The wave power plant is the first step in a facility that is expected to reach 1 000 MW when completed. The first wave energy converters and switchgear have already been delivered to Ghana and are under installation. Seabased has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of wave energy in the Andamans in India.
Wave Energy Converters for the Sotenäs project ready for deployment Deployment of a wave energy converter
OTHER RELEVANT DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES
There are several Swedish development companies that are progressing and are testing or will be testing their technology primarily outside Sweden. Among them are CorPower Ocean AB, Ocean Harvesting Technology AB, Minesto, Wavetube and Waves4Power. Minesto develops a marine current technology, Deep Green, which resembles an underwater kite with a wing and a turbine. It moves swiftly in an 8-shaped trajectory in the current. A ¼ scale prototype was deployed in 2013 in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, and is currently undergoing extensive longtime sea trials. The next step for Deep Green is the installation of the first commercial scale installation, a 0.5 MW power plant off the coast, in Wales, in 2017. The installation in Wales will be successively extended to a 10 MW (20 power plants) array which will eventually deliver power to over 8000 Welsh households in 2019.
The installation site is located at Holyhead Deep, Wales. They have received funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and KIC Innoenergy. Minesto has recently registered on First North at NASDAQ Stockholm.
CorPower Ocean AB has developed a Wave Energy Converter, inspired by the pumping principles ofthe human heart. Together with the Norweigan University NTNU, a new phase control technique has been developed and applied inside the buoy, which has reduced costs.
CorPower has secured funding from KIC Innoenergy and Wave Energy Scotland for a dry rig testing phase in Stockholm where the performance will be verified. This will be followed by ocean testing of a half scale prototype at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) test site in Scotland in 2017. The demonstration project in the ocean is partly financed by the Swedish Energy Agency.
Development, manufacturing and testing of the prototype is performed by a consortium including CorPower Ocean AB (Stockholm), Iberdrola Engineering (Glasgow) and WavEC Offshore Renewables (Lisbon). KTH (Stockholm) and NTNU (Trondheim) are involved as scientific partners.
Waves4Power is a developer of buoy based wave energy converter systems. With support from the Swedish Energy Agency, Waves4Power will demonstrate a full scale prototype at Runde on the Norweigan west coast.
The installation will take place in early 2016.
The project will be performed in cooperation with Siemens, NKT cables, Seaflex, Blueorbis and Runde Environment Centre. The wave energy converter will be connected to the shore based power grid via subsea cable.
Minesto's marine current technology
OTHER RELEVANT NATIONAL ACTIVITIES
Offshore Väst, which has been mentioned before, gathers several companies, universities, institutes and authorities in projects supporting the offshore sector in Sweden. Also mentioned above, the Maritime Cluster of West Sweden is a project funded by the Region of Västra Götaland and involves universities and research institutes in West Sweden. Relevant conferences taking place in Sweden are the Swedish Maritime Day and StandUp for Energy.
Swedish Maritime Day, which is held every year, gathers stakeholders from academy, industry and the public sector. The conference is not only focused on offshore energy but also in areas like shipping, biotechnology, marine environment, etc. StandUp for Energy is a research alliance between Uppsala University, KTH, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Luleå University of Technology, focusing on areas such as renewable energy production (marine energy included), electricity grid, electric and hybrid vehicles and energy system. Conferences are held twice a year and are attended by companies and policy makers.
In the beginning of 2015, SP held a workshop for two days at the British Embassy in Stockholm together with Innovate UK and SuperGen Marine gathering researchers in different fields of expertise.