Annual Report 2018
Country Reports


Ana Brito e Melo & Antonio Falcão WavEC Offshore Renewables) & Instituto Superior Técnico (IST)



In Portugal, the Ministry of the Sea is responsible for defining policies encouraging the development of new activities in the sea that maximize the use of its resources, generating economic value in a sustainable model. In this sense, the Government programme has a medium- and long-term strategy for the use of the resources of the sea, in which renewable marine energy (wave and offshore wind) is of special relevance. 

Portugal’s Industrial Strategy for Ocean Renewable Energies (EI-ERO) was published in 2017 and is based on two main goals: to stimulate export and value added investment and to assist industry in reducing risks. The corresponding action plan defines that business opportunities in wave energy for Portugal should focus on having the right conditions for attracting R&D investment, in terms of infrastructures and financing. At national level it is estimated that there is a potential between 3 and 4 GW, considering other uses of the sea. The approach to the wave energy market is pursued in three stages: (i) technology development and demonstration by 2022; ii) pre-commercial development between 2023 and 2028; and iii) commercial maturity, with significant activity in 2030.
In 2019, the National Maritime Spatial Plan (PSOEM) was approved for mainland Portugal, Madeira, Azores and Extended Continental Shelf with a strategy for the compatibility of the different existing and potential activities in the sea, along with administrative online procedures for implementing projects in the ocean. PSOEM establishes the licensing regime for private use of the maritime space including marine renewable energies. A website has been created with all the information regarding Portuguese maritime spatial planning and also to support its public consultation ( An online platform has also been developed in order to submit the request for permits ( PSOEM thus creates a legal framework that facilites coherent, transparent, sustainable and informed decision-making processes in the Portuguese maritime space.
In Portugal, electricity from renewable sources from plants registered until 2012 is mainly promoted through a feed-in tariff (FiT). Since 2012 no guaranteed remuneration scheme has been approved for new projects.



Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)
The funding of the Portuguese research system is mainly conducted through the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education. FCT has been funding research on ocean energy via the Ocean Energy European Research Area Network (OCEANERA-NET) programme. This was a network of 15 national and regional funders of research and innovation programmes, from 8 European countries, which have received funding from the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Programme for R&I and ended in February 2018. 

Of the ten projects approved by OCEANERA-NET, FCT funded the participation of Portugal in 8 projects listed below, which ended in 2018, of which the first 3 were coordinated by Portugal (WavEC, IST and INEGI):

  • KRAKEN: Portugal (WavEC and IST), Spain and Ireland
  • ELASTMOOR: Portugal (IST) and  Sweden
  • SE@PORTS: Portugal (INEGI, UPorto, APDL, FORUM OCEANO), Spain and Belgium
  • CAPTWO: Ireland, Spain and Portugal (Cruz-Atcheson Consulting Engineers and IST)
  • MIDWEST: France, Sweden, Denmark and Portugal (IST)
  • OCEANIC: Sweden, Spain and Portugal (WavEC)
  • RECODE: Spain, Ireland, UK and Portugal (WavEC)
  • TUPPERWAVE: Spain, Ireland and Portugal (WavEC)

Built on the work of this programme, the Ocean Energy ERA-NET Cofund (OCEANERA-NET COFUND) was initiated, operating from 2017 to 2021, also supported by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme, involving the participation of 8 national and regional government agencies from 6 European countries. The participating countries/regions are: the Basque Country, Brittany, Ireland, Pays de la Loire (France), Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. The aim is to coordinate support for research and development in ocean energy, to encourage collaborative projects that tackle some of the key challenges identified for the sector as it progresses towards commercialisation. A new call was launched on 8 January 2019 and closed on 5 April 2019, and Portugal (WavEC) is involved in one project, of the 9 projects selected for funding.

Sea Policy General Directorate (DGPM) - BLUE FUND

In 2019, Portugal Ventures launched the Call Blue Economy in partnership with Fundo Azul, allowing projects to obtain investment through venture capital, by Portugal Ventures and grants by Fundo Azul. This fund was set up with the purpose of supporting new business areas or new sectors of the sea economy, including ocean energy. The Call Blue Economy invests between €300 thousand and €1 million in innovative, science-based and technological projects that promote innovative solutions to stimulate the competitiveness of the main value chains and the development of the sea economy sector.

Blue Fund is an innovative public financial instrument, managed by the Ministry of the Sea, which started in 2017 focused on the development of the ocean economy, scientific research and protection of the sea environment. It prioritizes the development of sea biotech start-ups, underwater robotics, innovative shipbuilding, ocean energy, aquaculture technology and innovative solutions for ocean protection, safety, monitoring and surveillance.
Six projects have been approved for wave energy demonstration projects and robotic equipment for operations in the sea, led by the following Portuguese institutions: WavEC, IST, inanoEnergy (University of Porto), In2sea, Composite Solutions and Abyssal.

National Innovation Agency in Portugal (ANI)
Portugal 2020 framework programme is organized into four thematic domains, one of which is dedicated to Sustainability and the Efficient Use of Resources. The global budget for this programme running until 2020 comes from the European Structural Fund aiming to stimulate economic growth and job creation in the country. Within this framework, the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Programme (Compete 2020) opens call for all sectors without distinction, not address specific levels of technological readiness. Ocean energy demonstration projects can apply to this programme, managed by the National Innovation Agency in Portugal (ANI).