Renewables benefit from massive EU funding

Floating wind turbines are one solution for future deepwater challenges (Ãyvind Hagen - Statoil)1 Floating wind turbines are one solution for future deepwater challenges (Photo: Ãyvind Hagen - Statoil)

Offshore wind and marine energy are set to benefit from a recent awarding of €1bn funding by the European Commission in various renewable energy sources.

An important part of the wider picture of emission controls and renewable energy is revenues gained from the sale of emission allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System. The €1bn funding comes from these revenues, part of the system that makes polluters the driving forces behind developing new low-carbon initiatives. The funding will be used to demonstrate technologies that will help scale-up production from renewable energy sources across the EU as well as those that can remove and store carbon emissions.

The list of projects awarded co-funding is extensive, covering a range of technologies including bioenergy, concentrated solar power, geothermal power, photovoltaics, offshore wind power, ocean energy, smart grids and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Nineteen projects will benefit from the funding in 12 EU Member States: Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Of the 19 projects, five are to be developed offshore. BALEA (wind) of Spain will receive €33.4m for two 5MW and two 8MW turbines on floating foundations, either tension leg platform or a semi-submersible structures. The project (total capacity 26MW) is expected to be located in the Bay of Biscay.

Funding of €34m will benefit the Spanish FloCan5 project. Five 5MW wind turbines with floating, moored semi-submersible foundations of concrete construction will have an internal grid and grid connection to an onshore substation. The project is expected to be located off the south-eastern coast of Gran Canaria in water depths of between 30m and 300m.

SWELL (ocean energy) of Portugal will receive €9.1m for the large-scale, grid-connected 5.6MW capacity wave farm to be built a few miles north of the Peniche Peninsula, central Portugal. The array will comprise sixteen 350kW modules with Oscillating Wave Surge Converters on the seabed, only the top part of the flap being surface piercing.

A 16MW floating ocean thermal energy conversion system, NEMO (France), within a floating barge moored 5km off the west coast of Martinique will receive funding of €72.1m. With the export cable landfall by the Bellafontaine oil-fired thermal power plant, the projects aims to deliver around 395GWh in the first five years of operation.

The fifth and final offshore wind and marine energy beneficiary of this bumper-bundle of EU funding goes to WestWave (ocean energy) of Ireland. The project will consist of a grid-connected array of five wave energy converters (WEC) installed within 1km of an onshore site at Killard Point in County Clare. Overall capacity of the array will be 5MW and the WEC, together with the hydraulic power take-off and shore-based power train is being tested first at the EMEC site on a smaller scale of 0.8MW.

By Peter Barker 

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