Marine energy

Marine energy is a collective term for the renewable energy that can be extracted from the ocean or from winds at sea. Swedish sea areas, on both the west and east coast, have excellent natural conditions for offshore wind power, which is also a topic for research at the Swedish Windpower Technology Center at Chalmers (Vindkraftstekniskt centrum). Region Västra Götaland is the initiator of the National Network Sea Waves Forum (Havsvindforum). Industrial engineering companies such as SKF and ABB are major suppliers to the wind power industry.

Although only 0.1% of the energy in the waves can satisfy the energy requirement on earth four times, the technical and economic challenges are so demanding that the EU estimates that wave energy will only make a relatively small contribution to Europe's energy supply in the future. According to the EU Commission's assessment, Europe's economic and technological potential for wave energy is between 150-240 TWh / year (for further reading: EU Commission Facts on Marine Energy, 2013-08-19, Reports & Documents). The capacity within the EU is estimated to grow between 0.9 GW by 2020 to 1.7 GW by 2030, according to the commission's analysis of future energy demand. The maximum level is 10 GW in 2020 and 16 GW in 2030, corresponding to 0.8% and 1.1% respectively, of the EU's estimated electricity consumption by 2020 and 2030 respectively.

In the field of technology, development of a wide range of technical solutions is taking place to utilize the energy in the waves. One of the companies reaching a global scale is the Swedish company SeaBased. SeaBased is a world leader through its long-term venture in the waters outside Orust, Lysekil and Sotenäs. SeaBased has been operating in the area since 2004 when they started with measuring of waves. In 2013 the construction of a wave power park was started, located outside Hållö, Sotenäs municipality. In January 2014 it began to supply electricity to the grid. In 2015, an additional 9 MW was connected, making Seabased Sotenäspark the world's largest wave park. In addition to the company SeaBased, the University of Uppsala is running the development of the site.

Overall, there are strong research environments in the region that work with different parts of offshore energy, from wind, wave and tidal power to electrical transmission technology. In addition to the Swedish Windpower Technology Center, there is the work within the area performed by the SSPA Sweden AB and the national research institute RISE.

The marine energy area also includes bioenergy from the sea. Several projects are in progress in this area, primarily in farming algae. The potential of algae cultivation is significant through its high productivity per hectare compared to land-based crops. Biobased energy from the ocean can be a competitive alternative to biomass from forestry and agriculture when technology has evolved. Västra Götaland with its marine testing environments connected to marine biology laboratories at Tjärnö and Kristineberg, has an interesting specialization within the area. The proximity to the chemical industry in Stenungssund and Lysekil is another important link. In addition to industrial companies like PREEM, Perstorp and Borealis, there are important stakeholders in innovation at RISE, Chalmers and at the University of Gothenburg.

 


Updated: 2018-04-20 11:17