Andy McDonald, head of low carbon transition at Scottish EnterpriseAquatera Ltd
, the EVOLVE consortium and Scottish Enterprise
have launched the Economic Value of Ocean Energy (EVOLVE) project which is an EU Ocean ERA-NET Cofund collaboration, an initiative of eight national and regional government agencies from six European countries. It has received funding from the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation.
EVOLVE will examine the overall market value of the inclusion of ocean energy in European energy systems and will produce quantifiable outputs to illustrate the benefits associated with integrating ocean energy in low carbon energy systems across the regions of north west Europe.
Ocean energy is seen as an increasingly valuable resource within renewable energy development and as Europe looks to renewable technology as part of a green post-Covid-19 recovery and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the ability to demonstrate the value of ocean energy becomes more crucial. The outcome of EVOLVE has the potential to boost not just the ocean energy industry, but also associated industries within the ‘blue economy’.
The team of partners from across Europe include: Aquatera which functions as the project manager and brings more than 20 years’ of experience of working with renewable energy having worked on over 300 marine energy studies — it will apply its unique RADMAPP model to the project; WavEC, which provides professional engineering services, R&D and innovation support to the marine renewable energy sector; RISE and the University of Edinburgh, which have world-class research experience in energy systems modelling; and Orbital Marine Power and CorPower Ocean, which have tidal and wave technology demonstration experience.
Continued engagement throughout the project will ensure that the results produced are relevant and useful to a wide range of stakeholders including technology and project developers, regulators, policy makers, electricity system operators and project investors.
Gareth Davies, Aquatera managing director, said: “We are delighted to be participating in this project which will for the first time link the distribution of ocean energy resources and energy markets on a place, time and value basis.
“The team we have put together includes some of the most experienced participants in the ocean energy sector and has the capacity to deliver a ground-breaking analysis framework that will clearly signal the best pathways and locations for ocean energy in the future.”
Andy McDonald, head of low carbon transition at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has an ambitious target to be a net-zero nation by 2045 and by capitalising on our manufacturing strengths and natural tidal assets as well as economic opportunities around climate change, we will build a sustainable ‘blue’ and ‘green’ economy that encourages international investment.
“I look forward to seeing the EVOLVE project take shape and delve deeper into the economic growth potential of ocean energy and its integration into energy systems to build on previous Oceanera-net initiatives.
“Aquatera’s research expertise, alongside academic know-how from Edinburgh University and Orbital Marine’s tidal technology knowledge will really come together on this project providing an opportunity for Scotland to lead from the front with partners in the EU to showcase energy transition in action.”
Matthijs Soede European Commision policy officer, said: “The final aim of each developer is to supply clean electricity to the energy system, but it will be important to show decision makers in Europe the added value of ocean energy.
“I am very happy to see that EVOLVE will do research on this and I am sure that the research will profit from the collaboration between the different European partners and that results will find a more easy route to the right decision makers in Europe.”
The project is expected to have a significant impact on the integration of ocean energy in European energy systems and through this, support Europe’s green transition while strengthening European cooperation and the ‘blue economy’.