Wave energy converters

wave energyWave energy, or wave energy converters when referring to the devices, is one of the technologies for harnessing energy from the sea, along with offshore wind (land-based or floating wind), tidal energy and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) in the context of Marine Renewable Energy or MRE.

Wave energy converters are sometimes located in harbour dykes but most are deployed offshore and can be installed either on the seabed with fixed foundations or on floating foundations connected to the seabed with anchoring systems. Whether point absorbers or linear devices, surge systems or oscillating water columns, this type of marine energy has given rise to a wealth of technologies for converting wave energy into electricity. In general, the wave energy sector is still at the demonstration stage. Because of their location at sea, wave energy converters must withstand severe marine conditions.

According Ocean Energy Europe, 12 MW of wave energy have been installed in Europe between 2010 and 2020. 1.1 MW were still in operation at the end of 2020 and 10.3 MW have been decommissioned following the end of testing programmes. A target of 40 GW of ocean energy (wave, tidal, ocean thermal energy and floating solar) has been set in Europe for 2050 according to the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy. SEM-REV, the offshore test site operated by Ecole Centrale de Nantes and located off the coast of Le Croisic in the Pays de la Loire region, has been hosting WAVEGEM, an autonomous hybrid solar and wave energy production platform developed by GEPS TECHNO, since 2019.

WEAMEC has selected more than 70 research projects related to marine renewable energy, including wave energy, and has accompanied his members in 15 new European innovation projects. Finally, stakeholders from the Pays de la Loire Region deliver more than 80 initial trainings as well as continuous training from operator to engineer covering all the skills useful to the development of the wave energy sector.

WEAMEC continuous training, operated by Centrale Nantes and the University of Nantes, is intended for those whose, established in the marine renewable energy market, wish to improve their skills, as well as those whose wish to retrain and enter the emerging wave energy sector. This unique training at the French level has been in operation since 2016.