Scotland and the Basque Country announce five year wave energy partnership

SCOTLAND and the Basque Country have announced a new five-year collaborative programme which will channel €20m into the most promising wave energy concepts.

The EuropeWave initiative will see both Scotland and the Basque Country build on their commitment to full decarbonisation and strategies to transition their energy systems. It is hoped that the two will become leading players in Europe’s emerging ocean energy sector and the winder energy transition.

The initiative is match-funded by the European Commission via its Horizon 2020 programme. Wave Energy Scotland (WES) will work alongside Ocean Energy Europe (OEE) and the Basque Energy Agency to deliver the programme.

This collaboration is closely aligned with the decarbonisation, industrial and competitiveness objectives of the European Green Deal. WES said the work will help meet the European Commission’s newly-announced targets of 100MW of ocean energy by 2025 and at least 1GW by 2030.

A pre-commercial procurement approach will be used to identify and fund the most promising wave energy devices from developers across Europe. Concepts will be assessed according to strict economic performance metrics, with the best performers being demonstrated in Basque and Scottish open waters.

Scottish minister for energy, connectivity and the islands, Paul Wheelhouse, said, “EuropeWave is a great example of how Scotland can continue to collaborate with European partners, like our great friends in the Basque Country, who have very similar aims and objectives to ourselves. We can work together to bring forward what can hopefully be a very important technology for the whole global community.”

Basque minister for economic development, sustainability and enviroment, Arantxa Tapia, commented, “This project is an ideal platform for collaboration between two regions in Europe to promote a new sector that contributes to the energy transition, creating a new economy and employment for our citizens. It is a clear example of how things should be done.”

Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe, added,  “We are delighted to be part of this initiative, which brings together some of the strongest supporters of ocean energy. The industry has long identified a pan-European ‘pre-commercial procurement’ as the right route to progress wave energy, so we can’t wait to see this project get underway in 2021.”

Tim Hurst, managing director at Wave Energy Scotland, said, “EuropeWave gives us an exciting opportunity to bring our experience of running a successful pre-commercial procurement programme in Scotland to a collaborative European wave energy project. We are looking forward to working with our colleagues at Ocean Energy Europe and in the Basque Country, and hope to see some innovative technologies brought to life through the programme.”