Wave energy is considered the largest untapped source of renewable energy on Earth. It is estimated that the total potential of this resource worldwide reaches approximately 30,000 TWh/year, exceeding the total electricity consumption of the entire human population.
With the widespread adoption of wave energy converters, this source is expected to contribute up to 10% of the European Union’s total energy by 2050.
The Finnish company AW-Energy has successfully developed WaveRoller technology, which converts ocean wave energy into electricity. WaveRoller operates close to the coast, where waves are more constant and powerful. It is placed at depths ranging from 8 to 20 meters and is fully or partially submerged, anchored to the seabed, depending on tidal conditions.
WaveFarm project harnesses the power of waves
AW-Energy has been supported by the EU-funded WaveFarm project, with the aim of raising wave energy production to industrial levels. This project has facilitated the adaptation of the WaveRoller unit and associated processes for the mass production and installation of multiple WaveRoller units in an assembly known as the WaveFarm.
Additionally, the project provided them with support to expand their range of devices to meet WaveFarm’s requirements, from a smaller scale WaveRoller-X to larger versions such as the WaveRoller-C1 and C2. Thanks to this initiative, AW-Energy was able to develop business models and services that would facilitate the replication and expansion of the project.
Matthew Pech, chief financial officer of AW-Energy, noted that WaveRoller has the ability to“deliver electricity closer to baseload than other renewable energy sources, keeping Europe at the forefront of innovative renewable energy technologies.” The WaveFarm project has enabled AW-Energy to take significant steps towards generating positive revenues, both for the company and for the European ocean energy sector, by preparing the technology and the company for commercial deployment of the devices and developing the sales process itself.
Importantly, AW-Energy has ambitious plans for its WaveFarm solution, anticipating significant economic benefits and job creation for the European Union. Through the implementation of the WaveFarm project, it is proposed to inject 275 million euros into the European economy and generate 500 jobs over the next decade.
Benefits of tidal energy
Additionally, it is estimated that the application of WaveRoller technology will result in a reduction of 250,000 tons of CO2 emissions by 2030, thus contributing to the transition to a more sustainable blue economy. WaveFarms’ presence also has the potential to attract fish stocks, benefiting local fishing industries. Finally, WaveFarms are expected to contribute to boosting local manufacturing, thus generating more employment opportunities.
In this context, it is worth noting that the European Union is progressing towards its renewable energy targets, with the objective of reaching at least 42.5% of energy from renewable sources. renewable sources by 2030. Ocean energy is also contemplated in this plan, with the goal of achieving at least 1 GW of installed capacity by 2030 and 40 GW by 2050. If this goal is achieved, it would be enough to power approximately 40 million homes, representing a significant step towards a more sustainable future.
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