Annual Report 2016
Country Reports


José Luis Villate TECNALIA, in collaboration with APPA-Marina


In February 2016, a consortium led by TECNALIA in partnership with University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, University College Cork, Instituto Superior Técnico, OCEANTEC, EVE, BiMEP, Global Maritime, Iberdrola, Kymaner and DNV-GL kicked off the OPERA project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. The project entitled “Open Sea Operating Experience to Reduce Wave Energy Cost” will collect and share two years of open sea operating data of the floating OWC wave energy converter developed by Oceantec and already installed at BiMEP.

In addition, OPERA will be the first open sea experience for four cost-reducing innovations that will be advanced from TRL3-4 to TRL5. Together, these four innovations have a long-term cost reduction potential of over 50%. These are: an efficient turbine, latching and predictive control, a shared mooring system for wave energy similar to those that have reduced mooring costs in aquaculture and an elastomeric mooring tether that reduces peak loads at the hull-mooring connection and thus addresses one of the most pressing challenges for structural survivability of wave energy devices.

Documenting and sharing this open sea experience will also induce a step-change in the knowledge of risk and uncertainties, costs and societal and environmental impacts of wave energy. The consortium brings together world leaders in wave energy research, the IPR owners and most advanced teams to exploit each of these innovations.

Within the OCEANERA-NET programme, TECNALIA is leading a consortium with other partners from Spain (Zunibal, Ditrel and Basque Energy Cluster), Portugal (WavEC), Ireland (Smartbay) and UK (ORE Catapult). The so called RECODE project aims to answer the challenge of identifying common components in ocean energy technologies by developing a set of industry-enabling cost effective components, specifically designed for reliable and sustainable delivery of ocean energy. These components comprise a safety monitoring and control device, a wave measurement buoy, an umbilical cable monitoring device and an underwater device-to-cable connector for a floating energy converter.

Also under OCEANERA-NET, IK4-Azterlan, IK4-Gaiker and Mikra Recubrimientos S.L. are working together on the OCEANIC project focused on the development of corrosion and fouling resistant coatings for ocean energy structures.

The end of 2016 brought the approval and contract signature of the MARINET2 project, funded by the European Commission under the Research Infrastructure section of H2020. MARINE2 will continue the success of MARINET project, ensuring the integration and enhancement of all leading European research infrastructure and facilities specialising in research, development and testing of offshore renewable energy systems including electrical sub systems and grid integration through a range of TRLs (1-7). The project is expected to start in early 2017 with the participation of 7 Spanish partners: BiMEP, CENER, CTC, EVE, IH Cantabria, PLOCAN and TECNALIA.

TECNALIA is leading the project ICERMAR, funded by the Basque Government, in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country and the Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics to coordinate research efforts in the field of marine renewable energy (ocean energy and offshore wind). Six research lines have been under development during 2016: development of new modelling tools; new PTO concepts for OWC wave energy devices; corrosion, fatigue and anti-fouling materials, mooring systems and electrical connections, performance assessment and environmental issues.

TRL+ is a “Retos-Colaboración” project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness within which BiMEP and IH Cantabria collaborate to enhance technological and scientific solutions for marine renewable energy in deep and very deep waters with a market oriented approach and supporting industry needs.

Two research projects are under development involving PLOCAN: the project ORPHEO has been awarded by the Spanish Ministry to analyse the profitability of hybrid floating platforms to harness wind and wave energy together. The project consortium is composed by INGETEAM, ENEROCEAN, University of Cadiz, University of Malaga and PLOCAN.

The project DESAL+ has been awarded within an INTERREG-MAC call, where PLOCAN will analyse the potential use of wave energy in desalination process.

During the last years, SENER has carried out two lines of work: one consisting of the development and design of its own technology (based on the OWC principle) and main equipment (air turbine and check valves), and another line where SENER has developed its own software for simulating, design and calculation of wave energy converters and farms, which allows the optimization of devices and arrays, as well as the calculation of project costs, including LCOE, for each location.

Within an individual R&D programme, Rotary Wave, a Spanish technological start up, received €600.000 funding from CDTI to research and develop the Butterfly WEC device, which uses wave energy to obtain electricity and desalinated water. As a first step, Rotary Wave tested and validated a 1:13 scaled device in A Coruña University’s Wave Tank in order to obtain TRL4. In these tests, the Butterfly device showed its capacity to produce power (120 kW equivalents with 3 m real waves) in addition to good stability and survivability conditions.