After a 4 years run, FORESEA is officially coming to a close today. The FORESEA project has been instrumental in boosting the ocean energy sector on its way to commercialisation over the past years.
With 30 low carbon offshore energy technologies tested in real sea conditions in some of the world’s best test centres, FORESEA has been extremely successful in demonstrating the potential of ocean energy. The FORESEA model of supporting low carbon technology developers by providing free access to test sites was completely new in 2016 and is now being emulated by several different projects.
Thanks to the testing opportunity provided by FORESEA, developers were able to prove the reliability, survivability and efficiency of their technologies in real sea conditions. This allowed them to take a big step towards commercialisation by providing solid proofs to present to investors. In total, the FORESEA project helped developers leverage nearly €70 million, all of it injected directly into the ocean energy sector and growing it even further.
The close of the FORESEA project is not the end of the story. Demand to test innovative ocean energy technologies in open sea is higher than ever and the industry is growing at a rapid pace. Ocean DEMO - a new €13m Interreg North West Europe project - was launched in January 2019 and will follow in FORESEA’s footsteps. It will provide funding to developers of marine renewable technologies to test their products or services in real-sea environments. However, it will go one step further towards industrial rollout by focusing specifically on multi-machine ocean energy installations.
The transition from single machine to pilot farm scale is critical for the future of the ocean energy sector. Scaling up to multi-machine farms will improve the competitiveness of the technology by bringing down costs across the supply chain. This transition comes with higher capital requirements and investors require a proven business case before they get further involved. Ocean DEMO will ease the transition towards pilot farms and build upon FORESEA’s successes to deliver a thriving ocean energy sector in Europe.