New €11m EU project to fund ocean energy testing

A new initiative aimed at helping ocean energy developers test and demonstrate their products in real-sea conditions has been launched. The €11 million (£9.18m) Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A new initiative aimed at helping ocean energy developers test and demonstrate their products in real-sea conditions has been launched.

The €11 million (£9.18m) Funding Ocean Renewable Energy through Strategic European Action (FORESEA) programme will provide funding support to access Europe’s world-leading test facilities for tidal and offshore wind.

That includes the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in the Orkney Islands and the SmartBay facility in Ireland.

According to EMEC, investors in the sector want to see technology has been proven to work in the sea and at scale before committing. However, this is expensive and companies are often unable to afford it, meaning products miss out on funding and don’t reach the market.

Oliver Wragg, Commercial Director at EMEC, said: “The cost of pre-commercial testing and demonstration for ocean energy is high and investors are generally reluctant to invest until the technology has been proven in the sea at scale.

“FORESEA will provide financial assistance to Europe’s most promising ocean energy innovators and help them ‘get metal wet’ – get their technologies tested in real-sea conditions and get private investment flowing into the sector.”