The European Union has kicked off a new project that will bring marine power testing facilities together across the region and help to demonstrate the power and potential of wave, tidal and offshore wind technology systems in live conditions.
The funding of 11 million euros has been secured via bodies which are part of the European Regional Development Fund. Called the Funding Ocean Renewable Energy Through Strategic European Action (Foresea) project, the work will be driven forward by the Marine Energy Centre located in Scotland's Orkney, as well as sites that include the Netherlands' Tidal Testing Centre, France's Sem-Rey and the SmartBay testing facility located in Ireland.
The group will work with marine energy developers to provide them with a comprehensive and integrated package of business support and funding measures to help them develop, test and demonstrate technology applications in real sea conditions, where live grid hook-ups are in place to fully replicate a live environment.
The first release of funding and support for applicants will be announced shortly.
The Commercial Director of the EMEC, Oliver Wragg, said that Europe was already a world leader when it came to the development of clean and green renewable energy. He explained that the new Foresea project would help to further extend this lead by kicking off a concerted programme of development activity in the marine technology space. This would in term bridge the existing gap between research and development activities in ocean renewables and the commercial market, whilst building on the EU initiatives that already exist to support the development of wave and tidal power.
The UK is expected to continue to play a key role in the developing EU project thanks to its existing advanced testing facilities and coastal areas, despite its recent referendum result.