Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wave Country Notes
A number of important international bodies have been involved in ocean energy, including wave energy:
The European Commission
This body has sponsored wave-related activities in a number of areas over a considerable length of time. It has promoted cooperation between leading organisations and institutes, via the formation of a Thematic Network (www.wave-energy.net/index3.htm) and a Coordinated Action (www.ca-oe.net). It has made direct contributions towards developing particular technologies, including: shoreline OWCs at Pico in the Azores, the Wave Dragon (www.wavedragon.com), the Wave SSG (www.waveenergy.no) and the SEEWEC (a multinational project to build a device containing an array of wave energy floats, www.seewec.org/). At the present time, the European Commission is considering supporting several other wave devices as well as the European Ocean Energy Association, which has been formed by all stakeholders in ocean energy (both within and outside Europe). Its aim is: to strengthen the development of the markets and technology for ocean energy in the European Union; act as the central network for information exchange and EU financial resources to its members and the promoting of the ocean energy sector by acting as a single EU voice (www.eu-oea.com/).
The International Energy Agency
In 2001, the International Energy Agency (IEA) formed an Implementing Agreement on Ocean Energy (www.iea-oceans.org), which is the IEA's mechanism for providing a framework for international collaboration in energy technology R&D, demonstration and information exchange. It has grown from the original three Members (Denmark, Portugal and the UK) to nine (Belgium, Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Japan, USA), with several other countries having been invited to join (Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Norway). This growth reflects how ocean energy is increasingly seen as an viable and important future energy source. The Implementing Agreement has so far completed two important activities: Review, Exchange and Dissemination of Information on Ocean Energy Systems; Development of Recommended Practices for Testing and Evaluating Ocean Energy System.
The European Marine Energy Centre
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has been established in the Orkney Islands with funding from a number of organisations, Scottish and UK government bodies and the European Commission. It provides four test sites in 50 m water depth for wave energy devices, each with its own subsea cable, as well as a monitoring station and other facilities (www.emec.org.uk). The Centre has hosted a number of wave energy devices (as well as tidal current devices at a nearby site) and is proving pivotal in establishing wave energy as a reliable energy source (e.g. allowing developers to demonstrate their technologies in real sea conditions, coordinating activities around performance measurement and design standards).