The Commission’s long-term strategy, A Clean planet for all, identifies offshore renewable technologies, amongst others, as a key energy system for the Clean Energy Transition. It provides estimates for the offshore wind capacity in Europe of 240-440 GW by 2050, compared to about 22 GW today, while other offshore renewables follow a more modest scenario. This increase would represent a paradigm shift in the European energy system and require a modern infrastructure to seamlessly integrate the power of offshore resources in the energy system via the grid to onshore, or via the option of power-to-X taking into account grid constraints, investments and evolving /new energy market design.
This buildout needs to ensure cost efficiency and to foster the green economy, while protecting the environment and biodiversity, and assuring a just transition. There is a need for more efficient, cost-effective, affordable and secure technologies using wind, solar, wave and/or tidal resources, considering the potential of the different European sea basins (Baltic Sea, North Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea) and the complementarity of resources to reach the best capacity factor and optimized use of all the power equipment. At the same time, developed solutions should ensure resource efficient use of raw materials, in particular critical raw materials.
Subtopic2: Demonstration of innovative technologies to enable future large scale deployment of offshore renewable energy
Projects must demonstrate at sea critical offshore renewable energy innovations considering the efficiency, reliability, scalability, sustainability and circularity that is needed in all areas of the offshore renewable energy system, notably:
- Offshore renewable energy power generating systems: innovative integrated offshore (floating) wind, wave, tidal and/or solar systems, on a floating or fixed-bottom substructure, considering the varied subsea and metocean conditions.
- Grid infrastructure: real life demonstration of innovative Direct Current (DC), AC/DC hybrid technologies and systems as a supporting step towards large offshore DC, AC/DC hybrid grids (e.g. multi-vendor Multi-Terminal HVDC (MT HVDC) systems, grid forming converter, HVDC diode rectifiers, Modular Multilevel Converters (MMC), DC Circuit Breaker (DCCB); DC/DC converter and DC/power hub) and their control and management systems; for floating renewable energy technologies: innovative dynamic inter-device/inter-array cables and connections to converter stations at sea or offshore hubs.
In order to ensure a balanced portfolio, at least the highest ranking proposal addressing Offshore renewable energy power generating systems and the highest ranking proposal addressing Grid infrastructure will be funded, provided it attains all thresholds. This condition to ensure a balanced portfolio will also considered to be met if one project addressing both aspects will be funded. Furthermore, projects may also include:
- Power to X /battery/ storage systems: innovative offshore storage, battery and/or power to X systems to maximise the use of offshore resources and increase the system resilience.
The innovative demonstration actions might be part of a larger project or already making use of existing infrastructure. Multi-functional platforms can be considered.
Proposals should address also the following:
- Industrial design and manufacturing processes, circularity of (critical) raw materials, scalability,, installation methods, transport, operation & maintenance, supply chains and the related digital infrastructures.
- Regulatory, market and financial challenges.
- Marine spatial planning issues (making multi-use of the seas possible, but also considering optimising environmental impacts) as well as currently known barriers such as costs, public acceptance and vulnerability to changing climate conditions in offshore areas, and considering needs, values and expectations of society through close and continuous discussion with stakeholders.
- Projects are requested to demonstrate the technologies at sea while respecting existing environmental regulatory framework.
- Present an environmental monitoring plan to be implemented during the demonstration action.
The project consortium should demonstrate how it contributes to knowledge building and innovation. Development of new knowledge, models and solutions are paramount to maximize the benefits of the energy transition, to ensure that the right choices are made, and to optimize technologies and systems.
The project has to include a clear go/no go moment ahead of entering the deployment phase. Before this go/no-go moment, the project has to deliver the detailed engineering plans, a complete business and implementation plan and all needed permits for the deployment of the project. The project should clearly demonstrate a proposed pathway to obtaining necessary permits for the demonstration actions and allow for appropriate timelines to achieve these. The project should also demonstrate how it will get a financial close for the whole action. Independent experts will assess all deliverables and will advise for the go/no-go decision.
The project should clearly demonstrate all potential impacts on the future roll-out of large-scale deployment of offshore renewable energy, the market perspective considering existing or alternative (decentralised) systems and all other environmental (like GHG reductions), ecological, social and economic impacts along the value chain.
It should increase incentives for investment and economies of scale in offshore bringing down costs and create new business models and services.
Key dates in the call for project
- 18 September 2020 - Opening of the call
- 26 January 2021 - Deadline of the call