Annual Report 2018
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Executive Summary





Ocean Energy Systems (OES) is the short name for the Technology Collaboration Programme on Ocean Energy Systems under the International Energy Agency (IEA). 
This Annual Report presents an overview of progress made by the OES, including summaries of new, ongoing and recent projects, as well as updated country reviews prepared by the Delegates. 
Interest and outreach for new membership within OES continued in 2018. Australia re-joined the OES in August and the Commonwealth Scientific, and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIURO) signed the Implementing Agreement on behalf of the Australian Government.
The OES is always looking for new members across the globe, and key representatives from potential new member countries are encouraged to attend meetings as Observers. 
The OES has 25 members, which provide a broad international base of information, sharing experience and knowledge and further a diversified representation of interests: members are from governmental departments, utilities, universities and research organizations, energy agencies and industry associations. This is one of the benefits of joining OES: participants gain an international perspective on ocean energy issues, opportunities and present challenges.
The OES international co-operation facilitates:
  • Securing access to advanced R&D teams in the participating countries;
  • Developing a harmonized set of measures and testing protocols for the testing of prototypes; 
  • Reducing national costs by collaborating internationally;
  • Creating valuable international contacts between government, industry and science;
  • Sharing information and networking.  
This Executive Summary provides a brief summary of the OES Annual Report for the year 2018. It synthesizes the main achievements in the OES collaborative activities and presents relevant policies, R&D activities and deployments in the water by each OES member country. It also includes, as in previous years, an interview on a specific topic, this year about performance metrics on ocean energy: Two experts from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are invited to give their views on this topic based on the programmes being run by WES and by the Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) within DOE where a formalized technology evaluation or stage-gate process is applied to measure the success of the technology and its development.
OES has a close link with the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE), held every two years, and leads a competitive process to select host country teams. In 2018, the 7th edition of ICOE was held in France gathering 200 exhibitors and more than 3500 visitors from 36 countries. In this report, OES also interviews the past and current Chair (2020) of the ICOE to hear about the benefits of this event for the international ocean energy industry.


The OES held two ExCo Meetings in 2018: The 34th and 35th meetings were convened in Cherbourg, France (14 – 15 June 2018), and in Las Palmas on Canary Islands (29 - 30 November 2018).  The meeting in Cherbourg was organised for the occasion of the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE 2018) and the meeting in Las Palmas was hosted by the Oceanic Platform of Canary Islands (PLOCAN) and organised in the same week as the High-Level Conference of the Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre).

The overall Work Programme of the OES is headed by an Executive Committee composed of representatives from each participating country and organisation, while the management of individual research projects or studies is the responsibility of Operating Agents. The present Programme consists in thirty Tasks, of which ten are currently operational.

During 2018, the OES project on Environmental Issues (known as Annex IV) led by the US Department of Energy (DOE) pursued a process for retiring, or putting aside, environmental risks that continue to slow consenting and hamper the development of marine energies. This process is made up of three parts:

  1. Data Transferability and Data Collection Consistency;
  2. Risk Retirement Pathway;
  3. Outreach and Engagement with the MRE Community.

Tethys, the online knowledge management system, continues to expand and increase user interactions. Last year, the publicly available collection of scientific papers, reports, and other media increased by 681 papers  for a total of 4,723 entries. During 2018, a peer review process was completed for Tethys with feedback from the greater Tethys community online. Two workshops were organised: one on social and economic data to address consenting; and a second one on the data transferability and data collection consistency processes. Further 3 webinars were hosted during 2018. Annex IV  continued to collect and update information on new wave and tidal projects as well as on-going research studies. 

On the Cost of Energy for Ocean Energy Technology, further progress has been done during the year with a new study led by Tecnalia from Spain as a continuation of a previous one done in 2015. This new study monitors the evolution of ocean energy costs and assesses the impact of different drivers on the LCOE, by taking into account historical trends, future development and differences among technologies and countries. 

OES has two tasks dedicated to the modelling verification and validation, one led by Ramboll, for wave energy, and a second one, for tidal energy, led by the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University. These groups have been engaging with a number of experts from universities, research institutions and companies and comparing results among different numerical codes.  
A group of member countries – Japan, India, China, Korea, France and The Netherlands – have been working together on OTEC to assess the potential around the world and discuss the present status and plans for OTEC projects.

OES has been developing efforts on the topic of international performance evaluation of ocean energy technologies with strong inputs from the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy and from Wave Energy Scotland, aiming to support the definition of a fully defined set of metrics and success thresholds for wave energy technologies and develop an internationally accepted approach. 

In 2018, OES supported the organisation of a second workshop on ocean energy in insular conditions, aiming to discuss barriers and opportunities, and also supported a workshop on open water testing to exchange information and experience on all aspects of planning, development and operation of open-water test facilities.

The need to assess the number of jobs related to the development of the ocean energy sector has been discussed and the terms of reference to prepare this study was prepared, with the work expected to start in 2019.




  • In 2018 Australia created a new hub for marine energy research and innovation, the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC), collocated in Perth and Albany. 
  • The industry continues to strengthen as a result of the formation of the Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG), a virtual ocean energy cluster that will be formally established in early 2019.
  • A new document that may influence future ocean renewable policy in Australia has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It reviews prospects for the medium- and long-term development of ocean energy in the country. 
  • A national wave energy resource assessment is available via the Australian Wave Energy Atlas and further a national tidal energy resource assessment is under preparation.
  • MAKO Tidal Turbines has been successfully testing a turbine at a large Australian port and the company is simultaneously progressing with a demonstration project in South East Asia. 
  • A number of Australian developers and researchers are engaged in a few well advanced development and research projects on tidal and wave energy: BOMBORA is looking to funding opportunities in Europe for its wave energy developments, Nandy’s R&D has moved through the proof of its wave energy concept, Wave Swell Energy is working on funding its 200 kW wave energy project, and Carnegie is moving now with the design of CETO 6 wave energy project of 1.5 MW. 
  • Several initiatives for the development of the blue economy, including marine energies, are being promoted in the coastal province of West Flanders, Western part of Belgium. In particular, the West Flanders Development Agency (POM West Flanders), responsible for the implementation of the social economic policy in the region, is promoting the development of ocean energy technology by the academic sector and private companies. 
  • The Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) has been supporting a new ‘Innovative Business Network Offshore Energy’, and in 2018 a ‘Blue Cluster’ was set up aimed at large companies & SMEs active in the blue economy sector, including marine energies.
  • Belgium has become member of the Europe Leading Blue Energy (ELBE) project aiming to position Europe as the world technological and industrial leader in blue energy.
  • Ghent University is partner in European funded project - MET-CERTIFIED – dedicated to the development of recognised standards and certification schemes in the sector, and is coordinated by the Dutch Marine Energy Centre. 
  • WECANet, an open pan-European Network for Marine Renewable Energy of 30 countries with a focus on wave energy, was initiated in 2018, coordinated by Ghent University, supporting training, networking and collaboration in Europe.
  • Laminaria, a Flemish wave energy developer is progressing with a 200 kW prototype to be tested at EMEC in 2019.
  • In Nova Scotia, the Marine Renewable Energy Act acclaimed into legislation in 2018 will lead to the identification of Marine Renewable Energy Areas (MREAs).
  • Several funding programmes were open in 2018 to support clean energy technologies across Canada, although not exclusively dedicated to support ocean energy. 
  • Two projects have been deployed at Bay of Fundy: Cape Sharp Tidal successfully deployed at FORCE tidal test site and tested the Open Hydro turbine for the third time, although the company was dissolved very soon after; Black Rock Tidal Power, renamed as Sustainable Marine Energy Canada (SMEC) successfully deployed the floating platform from Sustainable Marine Energy (UK) without turbines at Grand Passage, for research and environmental monitoring purposes. 
  • Other active developers in Canada include Big Moon Power, Mavi, Bluetility and Neptune Small, all progressing with scaled devices.
  • Extensive work in environmental monitoring and resource assessment has been carried out in Nova Scotia and British Colombia.
  • A relevant study was published in 2018: a ‘State of the Sector Report’ highlighting the opportunities, challenges and path for ocean energy in Canada and globally.

  • In 2018, a total budget of RMB 79 million was granted for two marine renewable energy demonstration projects.
  • A storage desalination offshore floating energy platform using the wave energy technology ‘Sharp Eagle’ was installed in the sea in 2018 and successfully connected to the grid on Wanshan Island.
  • Sharp Eagle is also being used by Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion (GIEC) in a multi-use floating platform; the first prototype started to be constructed in December 2018. 
  • There are also plans for the deployment of a Sharp Eagle demonstration farm on Wanshan Island, with governmental support; the design has been finished and its manufacture started in December 2018. 
  • Zhejiang University has deployed a third horizontal axis turbine near Zhairuoshan Island with an installed capacity of 600 kW, after the two previous ones of 60 and 120 kW. 
  • Since March 2018 a new 300 kW horizontal axis turbine deployed by the Guodian United Power Technology Company Limited has been connected to the grid, near Zhairuoshan Island.
  • The LHD Tidal current project, developed by Hangzhou United Energy Co. Ltd, has now reached an installed capacity of 1.7 MW and has generated more than 1 GWH since August 2016.  
  • The developments of wave energy projects by Danish developers continue to be stimulated by the Danish Wave Energy Partnership involving 11 active Danish developers working together for the development of wave energy through industrial partnerships.
  • Eleven Danish wave energy companies are active in the field: Exowave, WavePiston, Waveplane, Weptos, Floating Power Plant, Leancon, Crestwing, KN Swing, Wave Dragon, Resen and WaveStar.

  • Crestwing prototype was deployed in autumn 2018 in the northeast of the islands of Hirsholmene in Frederikshavn Municipality. 
  • In October 2018, WEPTOS in co-operation with AAU completed tests at a sheltered site located in Lillebælt between Jutland and Fyn in Denmark, north of the small island Brandsø.

  • In March 2018, the SET-Plan Ocean Energy Implementation Plan was endorsed with technical, financial and environmental actions for the coming years to support the development of ocean energy technologies towards commercialization and cost-reduction. 
  • The contribution of Ocean Energy to the blue economy was accounted in the European Commission first "Annual Report on the Blue Economy" published in July 2018. The report examines the role of emerging sectors, including ocean energy, and the opportunity that they bring for attracting investments and potential future deployments. 
  • In the period 2007-2018, a variety of ocean energy projects were supported by the European Commission, for a total investment of €864 million.
  • Two new environmental projects - SEAWAVE and WESE - amounting €1.5 million have been approved, funded by EASME (Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and will provide information on the interaction between wave energy converters and the marine environment.
  • The European Commission conducted a "Market Study on Ocean Energy" assessing financial needs and providing options for the design of Investment Support and Insurance Fund for ocean energy technologies, which was published in 2018.
  • The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is doing an inventory of Future Emerging Technologies relevant to energy supply; the type of innovations on ocean energy to bridge the gap with the market have been analysed and are published in the report “Future emerging technologies for the ocean energy sector: innovation and game-changers”.
  • A public study on the impact of European funded ocean energy R&D projects of the last 20 years is on-going aiming to provide insights into the impacts of funding and opportunities to influence the recommendations to increase future R&D impacts. 
  • Horizon 2020, the current framework programme to support innovative R&D actions has, since its inception in 2014, provided more than €165 million for ocean energy R&D to 44 different projects. Currently, 17 R&D projects on ocean energy are being funded. 
  • Three on-going projects - Marinet 2, Marinerg-I and Foresea - supported by the European Commission H2020 and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) offer access to testing infrastructures and centres and to research facilities across Europe.
  • Other two new projects - Marine Energy Alliance and Blue-GIFT - funded by the Interregional European projects (Interreg) fostering transnational cooperation among neighbouring countries were launched in 2018.
  • Several prototypes were tested in French waters over 2018, partly thanks to the current availability of four grid-connected test sites (SEM-REV, SEENEOH, Brest-Sainte Anne and Paimpol-Bréhat) and Ushant Island pilot site.
  • In 2018, five new R&D projects on marine renewable energies addressing technological bottlenecks and environmental issues were approved through the “Institute for the Energy Transition” call for tenders, in conjunction with France Energies Marines. 
  • The SABELLA D10 turbine was re-installed at the Fromveur Passage connected to the Ushant Island grid (Brittany) in October 2018, for another 3-year testing. 
  • A new round of testing of the 1/6-scale Eel Energy tidal turbine was successfully completed in the Bay of Brest in March 2018. 
  • Under PHARES, project the availability of renewable energy solutions for an insular community of 2000 inhabitants (Ushant Island) will be demonstrated combining two D12 Sabella turbines, a wind turbine, a PV solar plant and a storage capacity, expected to be operational by 2020.

  • Around 15 R&D institutes and universities in Germany have been involved into developing wave, tidal current and osmotic power, mainly in the framework of National and European research projects, over the last decade. 
  • The joint project “TidalPower - Development of a Platform System for Cost Efficient Utilization of Tidal Energy” was concluded in 2018. The project consortium led by SCHOTTEL HYDRO delivered the ready-to-build concept of the “TRITON S40”, a semi-submersible large platform with 40 tidal turbines rated at 2.5 MW. 
  • The Sustainable Marine Energy’s (SME) “PLAT-I” floating platform, has been equipped with four of SCHOTTEL HYDRO’s tidal turbines and rated at 280 kW; it is currently being tested at the Grand Passage in the Bay of Fundy, Canada.
  • In 2018, SCHOTTEL HYDRO also delivered a 500 kW power take-off system to the Swedish tidal kite developer Minesto for the “Holyhead Deep” project in Wales, UK.
  • NEMOS successfully tested its first scaled wave energy model (1:3) in Danish waters, at the Nissum Bredning nearshore test site and has been further progressing with the development of components for its full scale prototype.
  • SINN Power GmbH plans to deliver four additional wave energy modules to the existing test site at the port of Heraklion, Greece. Two modules were successfully put into operation in July 2018. The company has also been doing feasibility studies on the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde and in West African Guinea.
  • Other German suppliers, certification companies and consultants are contributing to the technology and project development in the sector, which shows the technology export opportunities on ocean energy that exist for the German industry.

  • In 2018, the Indian Government approved the construction of new OTEC powered desalination plant in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep Islands. NIOT has been doing research on various OTEC components at its recently established OTEC laboratory. 
  • The OWC wave powered navigational buoy for use in ports, which was installed successfully off Kamarajar Port, Chennai, has been continuously operating for several months. Following the success of this first unit, NIOT is building two more wave powered navigational buoys planned to be deployed at other two ports in India.
  • Research on Oscillating Water Column (OWC) principle for wave energy devices and its power take-off continues to be a key research activity at NIOT. Both unidirectional and bidirectional impulse turbines have been tested at the OWC navigational buoy, in open sea trials for performance comparison and evaluation. 

  • 2018 saw the completion of the review of the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP), confirming that all relevant agencies and Government departments within Ireland remain committed to support offshore renewable energies.
  • The department of Communications Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) issued a public consultation on the design of a new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) in Ireland, focused on the design options of the proposed new market scheme. The DCCAE is currently in the process of seeking state aid approval for the scheme and it is anticipated that the first auction call will open in 2019. 
  • Galway Bay Quarter Scale test site was awarded a new 35 year lease this year, which allowed for the test site to be recommissioned in July 2018. Two small devices have been tested in this site: a wave monitoring equipment “Anteia” developed by the Spanish company Zunibal and a small scale wave energy device called eForcis.
  • Ocean Energy completed the construction of the OEBuoy 500 kW machine in Oregon USA, which will be then transported for Hawaii in 2019 to be tested at the US Navy WETS facility. Prior stages included several deployments at the Galway Bay test site having accumulated over 24,000 hours of open water testing.
  • A 25 KW river turbine prototype developed by the Irish company Gkinetic a was tested in Bordeaux in France. 
  • Disappointingly, 2018 was also the year that Naval Energies ceased production of the Irish based OpenHydro tidal technology, despite successfully deploying a 2MW machine in Canada in July 2018.  

  • SeaPower scrl, a non-profit private consortium, spin-off of the University of Naples “Federico II”, is implementing a test site offshore Villa San Giovanni (RC) for the development, optimization and monitoring of innovative tidal current devices, in the Strait of Messina. The company has been also testing a wave energy system called PIVOT system and a full scale prototype will soon be installed on a breakwater in the port of Civitavecchia (Roma). 
  • The E-WAVE 100 converter, a dual-chamber Oscillating Water Column (OWC) device, designed for being integrated into vertical-wall breakwaters, was tested at 1:2 scale in the Large Wave Flume (GWK) of Hannover University, in the context of the MARINET2 EU project.
  • Other wave energy devices at an early stage of development include: the ECOMar system to be integrated in breakwaters by Kuma Energy, the IMPETUS-UNIPA patented by the University of Palermo, and Seaspoon patented by a spin-off of the Technical University of Genoa. 
  • CEMIE-Océano has been conducting several R&D activities addressing different aspects of ocean energy technology: resource assessment, experimental testing, environmental studies, materials, grid interconnection and energy storage.
  • A theoretical assessment of wave, current, salinity gradient and thermal gradient energy resources in Mexico elaborated by CEMIE-Océano is now available.
  • Based on numerical modelling evaluations of tidal and ocean current energy, two regions with good resource have been identified: the northern Gulf of California, and the northern Mexican Caribbean, with other possible sites in the Pacific (Baja California).
  • Energy from salinity gradient has been investigated by CEMIE-Océano, in particular the RED technique, exploring the use of new membranes. 
  • A small OWC prototype equipped with a Wells turbine has been in operation since September 2018 in the Bay of Acapulco. CEMIE-Océano has further two projects planned to be installed soon: a wave energy device at Sauzal Port, Baja California, and an ocean current turbine at Cozumel Channel.
  • The Government has been supporting the development of a tidal current test site and a wave energy test site. The wave energy test site in the western waters of Jeju Island is planned to be ready by 2019, managed by Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO) and will have a total capacity of 5 MW connected to the grid; one berth makes use of the existing Yongsoo OWC plant, with other 4 berths in shallow and deep waters. 
  • The floating pendulum wave energy converter (FPWEC), developed by KRISO, with 300 kW capacity, was connected to one of the berths, at 40 m water depth, in 2018.
  • KRISO has also been investigating small wave energy converters of the oscillating water column (OWC) type integrated in breakwaters combined with an energy storage system and connected to a micro grid. 
  • OTEC is also a key research area at KRISO, which has been progressing with plans to install a 1 MW OTEC demonstration plant on a barge in the eastern coast of Korea by 2019.
  • KIOST has been working on the development of an active controlled tidal current project, which resulted in the fabrication of a 200 kW turbine in 2018. 
  • In 2018, Korea started a new international cooperation project with China for knowledge exchange on ocean energy that will run until 2020. As part of this project, the first China-Korea Symposium on Marine Energy was held at Zhejiang University.

  • During 2018, SeaQurrent validated a tidal kite technology for moderate speeds at the test facilities of MARIN and is planning to install a first commercial demonstration project in the Wadden Sea, north of the Netherlands.   
  • After testing the salinity gradient technology at the pilot facility on the Afsluitdijk, Redstack now aims at a first demonstration plant in Katwijk (near The Hague).
  • Tocardo has been tested their 1.25 MW tidal current plant in the Eastern Scheldt and the company is now planning a 2 MW successor, consisting of 5 turbines.
  • OTEC development in the Netherlands continues steadily. The collaboration between private enterprise and academia is strong and evidenced through the activities made by technology developers and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). In 2018, the OTEC company Bluerise has completed a private round of funding and has secured commitment for a development loan from the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) for a SWAC/OTEC project in Jamaica. In 2018, the TU Delft started offering a PhD and MSc course on OTEC and continues to host Bluerise’s OTEC prototype. Aruba and Curacao (Caribbean islands within the Dutch Kingdom) released public policy documents highlighting a priority of development of SWAC and OTEC technologies.

  • NZ-based Energy Hydraulics (EHL), in partnership with US-based NWEI, conducted a second deployment of the Azura Wave device at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii during 2018. This was a continuation of the testing conducted during 2015-17, incorporating new design changes.
  • This partnership has secured a further US$4 million of grant funding from the US DOE to support the development of a full scale commercial device. This funding is contingent on a further US$4 million of matched funding, which is currently being sought from sources including the NZ Government.

  • Runde Environmental Centre (REC), located on Runde Island on the Norwegian west coast for wave energy testing, has now a 3 km/0.5 MW sea cable to shore with grid connection. 
  • REC has been used by the Swedish developer Waves4Power currently undergoing long term grid connected testing with its 100 kW wave energy device.
  • Fred Olsen is undergoing a second round of tests at the US Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) on Hawaii, with the BOLT Lifesaver wave energy device to power an oceanographic sensor package.
  • Ocean Power has been developing a tidal device using a Darieus-turbine of 300 kW to be installed in Lofoten.

  • In 2018, WavEC, IST, INEGI, University of Algarve, Kymaner and other Portuguese Universities, public and private entities were active partners in national or international research efforts on ocean energy. 
  • In 2018, the results of the call Blue Fund aiming to fund research and development projects on demonstration prototypes for wave energy systems and/or components was announced: 6 projects were approved for wave energy demonstration projects and robotic equipment for operations in the sea.
  • There has been continuous progress with the oscillating water column and air turbines, following decades of research in Portugal with this type of wave energy technology and its power take-off. A new biradial self-rectifying air turbine with a new type of fixed guide vanes designed by IST and supplied by the Portuguese company Kymaner has been tested in one of the OWCs of the Mutriku breakwater and later on a floating OWC prototype in the Basque country, at BiMEP.
  • The European H2020 funded project WETFEET, coordinated by WavEC, came to an end in 2018; within this project, a multipurpose platform made of OWCs wave energy converters have been tested by IST at Plymouth University. 
  • A new floating wave energy converter - UGENT - with an interior U-shaped oscillating water column and a self-rectifying air turbine has been developed at IST, and a scale model was tested at the wave tank of Plymouth University, within the European project MARINET 2. 
  • At University of Algarve there is one active group on tidal current energy projects, the Marine Offshore Renewable Energy (MORE) team, which has been involved in the testing of a small scale tidal current turbine Evopod E1 developed by the UK developer Oceanflow Energy.
  • The Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (INEGI) started to develop a marine buoy prototype integrating a new solution for harvesting energy based on triboelectric nanogenerators.
  • AW-Energy has granted funding from the EU Horizon2020 programme (MegaRoller project) for development of a Power Take-Off unit for a 1MW device. This R&D project started in May 2018 and will run until 2021, with a total of €5 million funding, with two Portuguese partners. 
  • Pico Wave Power Plant, at Azores, was disconnected from the network on April 2018 after ten years of testing, during which it made a very valuable contribution to the promotion of wave energy research, development and innovation.

  • In Singapore there is an active support for hosting demonstration projects on marine energies; ocean energy has been identified as a relevant alternative for islands and remote coastal areas.
  • The Sentosa Tidal Test Site developed with public funding aims to be a showcase for tidal energy providing opportunities to develop local technologies. 
  • MAKO Tidal Turbines in collaboration with Energy Research Institute @ Nanyang Technological University (ERI@N) has been developing a demonstration project on Sentosa Island.
  • The offshore renewable energy integration and demonstration (Offshore REIDS) project, also termed as Tropical Marine Energy Centre (TMEC), has been initiated by ERI@N and financially funded by the ClassNK firm (a Japanese classification society) and seeks to pave the way for establishing a scaled marine energy testing facility for tropical waters.
  • There is now much focus on the development of guidelines and standards to support the local supply chain and to investigate technologies and a methodology for meeting energy needs on remote islands.

  • The Basque Energy Agency (EVE) launched in 2018 a new call of its “Demonstration and validation of emerging marine renewable energy technologies” programme with a budget of €2.5 million for 3-year duration projects.
  • OPERA project, funded under the H2020 programme and coordinated by TECNALIA, continues making good progress. 2018 saw the finalization of the bi-radial turbine tests at Mutriku Wave Power Plant and the implementation of that turbine in the MARMOK-A-5 device at BiMEP test site. A sophisticated new type of mooring rope – elastomeric mooring tethers- was successfully deployed marking a significant new milestone for this project.
  • MARMOK-A-5 device developed by OCEANTEC (acquired by IDOM in September 2018), after surviving two winters, and refitted to integrate new innovations, was re-installed at BiMEP. 
  • Mutriku breakwater in the Basque Country, based on the OWC (Oscillating Water Column) technology, reached some 1.77 GWh since 2011. 
  • WEP+, Ocean ERANET Cofund project, is a wave energy demonstration project based on the Wedge technology, which has accumulated roughly 4 years of testing at PLOCAN on the Canary Islands. 
  • Wedge Global has also been developing SMARTWEC Project, aiming at optimizing wave energy converters point absorber type by increasing offshore reliability and energy output.
  • Under the European funded project LifeDemoWave, a wave energy prototype has been tested in Galicia with two different PTO, 25 kW each.
  • Galicia-based Magallanes Renovables has been tested its 2 MW floating platform for tidal energy at EMEC in Scotland.

  • Key achievements in 2018 include the Swedish Energy Agency starting a new phase of its national ocean energy programme and several Swedish developers undertaking demonstration activities. 
  • Minesto has been developing a technology called Deep Green that can produce electricity from low-velocity tidal and ocean currents and in 2018 successfully installed and commissioned a 500 kW demonstrator at Holyhead Deep off North Wales. 
  • CorPower completed a half scale demonstration of their wave energy device in EMEC, and is progressing now to the next stage involving full scale devices.  
  • In 2018, a new phase of the Swedish Energy Agency´s national ocean energy programme was started. The activities and priorities of the programme are guided by the Swedish Energy Agency’s strategy for research and support to ocean energy which was finalised in 2017 and is available on the website . The programme will run from 2018-2024 and has a total budget of around €10.2 million. A first call for proposals has been held and decisions on which projects to fund are being finalised.

  • A new report issued in 2018 by ORE Catapult’s ‘Tidal stream and wave energy cost reduction and industrial benefit’ highlights the significant potential economic and employment benefits from ocean energy to the UK.
  • To date, the UK has invested an estimated £508 million of private funds into the development of ocean energy technology. This has been supported by £70 million of direct public support to technology developers, part of £300 million of wider public support (including academia and test centres).  To inform budget setting for 2019 onwards the UK Government has convened the Energy Innovation Needs Assessment (EINA) process.  This coordination activity will bring together UK Government funding agencies from across the UK to prioritise and allocate R&D investment between the low-carbon technologies, including ocean energy.  
  • The Scottish Government continues to support the ocean energy sector including on-going funding of Wave Energy Scotland. Through targeted innovation projects and research activities, several new funding awards were made in 2018.  
  • Marine Energy Wales is guiding the creation of a successful ocean energy industry in Wales with the sea testing infrastructures under development. Skills and innovation are being supported by the Marine Centre Wales, which opened in 2018 with £2.8 million funding. 
  • In Northern Ireland, the Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA) published in late 2018 the ‘Discussion Paper on the Marine Spatial Planning Needs of the Marine Renewables Emerging Technologies’ to support the development of a Marine Plan.
  • Tidal stream projects made significant strides in demonstrating performance and reliability:
    • SIMEC Atlantis Energy’s MeyGen array project in Scotland’s Pentland Firth surpassed 10 GWh of generation onto the grid by December 2018. The next phase, planned for late 2019, is to install an additional two Atlantis turbines uprated to 2MW each. 
    • The Nova Innovation three-turbine 0.3 MW array has continued to operate and further granted an extension to their existing seabed lease to increase capacity from 500 kW to 2 MW. This extension will enable the installation of three additional turbines, each rated at 100 kW, thus increasing the number of turbines in the water from three to six.
    • Orbital Marine Power continued testing their 2 MW twin rotor floating tidal turbine at the site and in 12 months of continuous operation achieved 3 GWh of generation. The company will design and build their optimised production model, for deployment at EMEC in 2020. 
    • The Swedish tidal developer Minesto built and deployed their commercial scale DeepGreen500 tidal kite off Holyhead, North Wales. Other tidal current projects are further planned to be tested next years at EMEC and include the Instream Energy Systems’s 100 kW floating tidal device with funding from Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Magallanes Renovables’s 2 MW floating tidal device and the Tocardo floating platform intended to provide a generic solution for the integration of tidal turbines.
  • Wave energy projects are progressing in UK waters:
    • Wello Oy marked its first year of deployment of Penguin at EMEC’s Billia Croo test site and the next generation of the device is planned be relocated to EMEC, next to the existing one, after testing in Estonia.
    • CorPower deployed their half-scale C3 device and demonstrated 18 months of combined dry and ocean testing at EMEC.
    • Marine Power Systems (MPS) built their 10 kW WaveSub device in Pembroke Dock and are currently finalising tests in FaBTest, Cornwall. 
    • The Australian wave energy developer Bombora Wavepower secured a £10.3 million ERDF grant to test a 1.5 MW prototype at Pembrokeshire.
    • Laminaria’s 200 kW LAMWEC device is planned to be deployed at EMEC in 2019. 
  • The U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has maintained an upward trend since 2013, and in 2018 the annual budget was at $105 million, a 25% increase from 2017 and its highest level ever. 
  • The Naval Facilities Engineering (NAVFAC) is funding and actively managing the Navy's Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) in Hawaii with a budget of $35 million to support Alternative and Renewable Energy R&D. 
  • In April 2018, a recent funding opportunity was announced of up to $23 million to support marine energy technologies.
  • In June 2018, the six awardees selected to receive a total of $6.7 million in federal funding have been announced: The Igiugig Village Council (IVC) in Alaska, the Ocean Renewable Power Company, Resolute Marine Energy, Oscilla Power, Enorasy and the University of Alaska.
  • During 2018, WPTO collected public comments on its draft report “Potential Maritime Markets for Marine and Hydrokinetic Technologies” that details economic and technical landscapes of 14 different non grid markets for marine energy technologies. The final report will be released in 2019. 
  • Several teams have been engaged in developing innovative products and systems with improvements on control or cost reduction: The ocean energy research team at NREL conceived and patented an innovative wave converter concept; SNL completed wave tank testing work in advanced wave energy dynamics and controls.
  • On environmental issues, two relevant initiatives are pointed out: (1) the new sensor package, NoiseSpotter, developed by a research group from Integral Consulting, Inc. in collaboration with PNNL, designed to record sound generated by marine energy devices and (2) the Living Bridge Project, led by the University of New Hampshire, where the Memorial Bridge has been converted into a demonstration "smart bridge" equipped with environmental sensors powered by a 25 kW cross-flow vertical axis tidal turbine supplied by New Energy Corporation of Calgary, Alberta.
  • The 1 MW OE Buoy developed by Ocean Energy USA (originally from Ireland) has been under construction in Oregon and once complete will be towed to the U.S. Navy’s WETS in Hawaii for testing. The BOLT Lifesaver wave energy device from the Norwegian company Fred Olsen was also redeployed in this testing facility.
  • Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) signed an agreement with Enel Green Power to evaluate developing a project in Chile; the company has a contract to supply the Oil & Gas company, Premier Oil, with one of its PowerBuoy systems, targeting a deployment date in the summer of 2019.
  • Columbia Power Technologies (C·Power) completed the testing of its novel direct-drive PTO at NREL that will be installed in 2019 at the StingRAY open water demonstration project at WETS.
  • Northwest Energy Innovations (NWEI) redeployed their full scale system Azura™ at WETS in February 2018.
  • Verdant Power Fifth Generation Kinetic Hydropower System (Gen5 KHPS) is working on the optimization of cost effective installation, operation, maintenance, and retrieval. 
  • Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) in partnership with Igiugig Village of Alaska is developing the RivGen Power System, a submerged cross-flow river current turbine system planned to be deployed in 2019, an example of the application of ocean energy to remote locations. 
  • Oscilla Power has done extensive testing at scale and is aiming to test their system in the second half of 2019 at WETS in Hawaii.
  • Both AquaHarmonics and CalWave, first and second-place winners of the 2016 Wave Energy Prize respectively, have been advancing their designs. 

There are many open sea test sites established across the world and each has its own challenges, such as consenting issues, resource and operating environments. Test centres also provide very different service offerings to industry. 

The development of open sea testing facilities encourages ocean energy development by enabling practical experience of installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning activities for prototypes and farms, as well as on services and streamlining procedures.