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Wave Power

Spain is getting ready to ride the energy wave

Iberdrola project in Santoña, Cantabria, Spain

Spain has a great potential for ocean energy technologies, especially wave buoys that harness energy with the ups and downs of wave movement. Let’s take a look at the most important initiatives.

-Iberdrola signs in august 2006 the first Spanish contract to start a small scale buoy, 40 kW, in Santoña, Cantabria. This first pilot stage will be increased to 1,4 MW.

-Iberdrola and Tecnalia connect in October 2008 to the Spanish electricity grid, a small scale buoy.

-2009 sees the birth of the Biscay Marine Energy Platform, supported by the Ente Vasco de la Energía.

-The Spanish PER (Plan for Renewable Energy) includes, in 2010, wave energy as a renewable source.

– “Calma”, in Asturias is preparing to extract 50 MW. Project is lead by Hidroflot.

– Pelamis, one of the leading companies, has started a project in Galicia.

It is also interesting to highlight the R&D effort. Biscay Marine Energy Platform, which will be operative in a couple of years, is getting ready to supply the Spanish electric grid with 20MW, with a total investment between 15 and 20 M€. The Canary Islands are also seeing several initiatives; there is great interest in unifying wind offshore, wave energy and ocean current energy to create a unified electric supply.

Let us remember that these technologies currently have, according to authors research, Capex costs around 220 €/Mwh and O&M, approximately, 85€/Mwh. These will have to face a severe reduction to be able to compete with Offshore Wind  initiatives that have Capex and O&M around 80€/Mwh and 34€/Mwh, respectively.

The authors hope these initiatives will enable the development of these technologies and position Spain as a reference in this sector.

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