ocean energy

Waveroller successfully deployed

Buoyed by the successful installation of three units of the Finnish wave energy converter, Waveroller, on 11 August near Peniche (Portugal), the investors Fortum, Sitra, and the Finnish Innovation Fund have increased their funding in the wave energy technology developed by the Finnish company AW-Energy Oy.
Waveroller successfully deployed

The array of three WaveRoller units were successfully deployed off the Portuguese coast in August, after being towed to the site in perfect weather conditions and attached to the mooring system already set up in advance.

Subsequently, the investors in the project, Fortum and Sitra and TEKES (the Finnish Innovation Fund) have announced they have increased their contributions to the project to enable AW-Energy to commence the development of the commercial scale WaveRoller device, and ensure the completion of operational testing of the 3 x 100kW demonstration plant deployed last month.

According to AW-Energy, the increased funding is “a show of confidence” in the WaveRoller technology, which is developed and extensively patented by AW-Energy. Fortum and Sitra started collaborating with AW-Energy in 2008 and wave power is an important part of Fortum’s R&D work related to sustainable energy solutions.

”Investments in developing renewable energy production, like wave and solar power, are an important part of our strategy implementation. Sustainability is at the core of Fortum’s strategy – we believe that energy production in the future Solar Economy will be based on an efficient energy system and on energy produced directly or indirectly from the sun," says Per Langer, Executive Vice President of Fortum, explaining the reasoning behind the decision to continue financial support.

Apart from AW-Energy, Fortum is also building one of the world's largest wave power project on the Swedish west coast, and has formed a partnership with French naval company DCNS to develop and test wave power in France.

"The future belongs to renewable energy and we need innovative technological approaches, like AW- Energy's WaveRoller. Sustainable energy will play a crucial role in the future energy market", says Director Sami Tuhkanen from Sitra.

AW-Energy has also recently received a positive funding decision from TEKES, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technoloy and Innovation. With combined funding from TEKES, Fortum and Sitra, AW-Energy has secured €7.3 million to plan and design next generation commercial scale 500kW WaveRoller device.

”The WaveRoller technology has many advantages such as low visual impact and relative constant electricity output”, explains John Liljelund, CEO of AW-Energy. “The collaboration with Fortum, Sitra and Tekes enables AWE further industrialization of the technology and to follow the development path towards the pre-commercial projects that are now under negotiations”, he adds.

Sharing knowledge with the Japanese

This week, AW-Energy CEO, John Liljelund, was invited to join a delegation of Finnish business leaders travelling to Japan together with Prime Minister of Finland, Jyrki Katainen. The business delegation led by Prime Minister had a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihiko Noda, on Monday in Tokyo. The purpose of the official visit of Prime Minister Katainen and that of the business delegation was to strengthen the economic relations between Finland and Japan, to open new business opportunities for Finnish companies in Japan and to encourage Japanese investment in Finland.

"Japan is going through a time of great change, for example, in its energy policy, especially in terms of its use of nuclear power after the crisis in Fukushima. Japan's new energy policy guidelines to be published very soon will have a significant role even at global level. This will provide Finnish companies with unique opportunities to enhance cooperation with Japan, for example in the area of nuclear power and renewable natural resources. We are making moves at the right time", Prime Minister Katainen said in Tokyo.

Wave energy technology is attracting a lot of attention in Japan given the fact that it is an island and also has a pressing need to find new clean energy sources to replace its nuclear stock, which has remained idle since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster last year.

The graphic below shows the areas of the world with the greatest wave energy potential; Japan being one such place.

wave energy map

[Inset: Waveroller units atop vessel which carried them to location from which they were then towed to deployment site off Portuguese coast last month.]

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