Ocean Energy Europe has called for a new EU funding programme for technology demonstration following the NER300 programme, in a joint letter with Europe’s renewable energy associations to the Commissioner Connie Hedegaard.
This follows the second and final round of NER300 awards, in which ESB’s pioneering WestWave project won over €23m. NER300 has helped address a funding gap for large scale demonstration of pre-commercial renewable energy projects.
“Between research programmes like Horizon 2020 and Member States’ support schemes, there is a need for a demonstration funding programme like NER300 to get technologies over the funding line and into commercial deployment. The award given to ESB’s WestWave project today is a prime example and offers a real shot in the arm for Europe’s wave energy sector,” said Rémi Gruet, Policy & Operations Director of Ocean Energy Europe, the European trade association for ocean renewable energy.
“The ocean energy industry strongly supports the continuation of the NER300 or a similar demonstration programme and hopes to see the European Commission take its success to date forward, and continue improving the scheme. Funding low carbon renewables with high carbon revenue is only logical,” continued Gruet.
ESB Innovation Manager, John McSweeney said: “Ireland’s oceans have the potential, in time, to provide large quantities of indigenous, renewable energy and reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels. Demonstrating technology through the WestWave project is critical if we are to realise the ultimate aim of progressing to larger commercial scale projects. The funding award announced today is a huge boost to the WestWave project and to ocean energy development in Ireland and Europe.”
WestWave is a 5MW project made up of wave energy convertors (WECs) planned for installation along Ireland’s Atlantic coastline in 2018. The project will be a critical milestone in the development of Ireland and Europe’s ocean energy sector.
Akuo and DCNS’ OTEC (ocean thermal energy conversion) project, NEMO, was also awarded €72m euro.