Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

20 Basque companies work with TECNALIA to develop business opportunities to make the most of marine energy


The European offshore wind power is expected to generate 20,000 million Euros income per year in 2020

The technology centre analyses the potential of offshore power at the Perspectives 2016 forum together with Adwen, Iberdrola, Nautilus and Vicinay Marine Innovación

Ocean power sources are considered the energy of the future. Large-scale harnessing will allow to provide a relevant part of the global energy needs, which opens a great window of business opportunities for companies. According to the data of the European Wind Energy Association – EWEA, the European offshore wind power market is expected to grow and reach 20,000 million Euros per year by the year 2020.

To analyse the potential of offshore energy, the TECNALIA research centre has held today in Bilbao the Perspectives 2016 Forum “Industry and Technology: marine energy opportunities”, in which they have highlighted the Basque Country's privileged position to become one of the global leading regions in this area, thanks to its industrial network, its R&D&I skills and infrastructures.

And precisely R&D&I becomes the tool that will help overcome the technological challenges of offshore wind power and other marine renewable energy, with the purpose of achieving the necessary cost reduction to provide competitive energy prices. In this sense, for the past 10 years TECNALIA has started to work to place wind turbines in the ocean and today has become a benchmark in the development of devices to make the most of wave power and the resource of marine wind power, especially in very deep areas where floating solutions have become the true protagonists. During these years, the research centre has had the support of the Basque Government for the development of applied research programmes in collaboration with other agents of the Basque technology network. TECNALIA is currently involved in approximately 20 marine energy projects, collaborating with 20 Basque companies and 20 other European bodies, for a total value of 3 million Euros per year.

Real solutions for marine energy

As a result of the work developed over the past decade, TECNALIA has already transferred to the industry four patents of auxiliary systems and components for marine energy sources, working on the start-up of a marine laboratory in the BiMEP testing area set up in Armintza where companies may test and validate materials and components for power facilities (renewable energies, oil&gas...) in hostile environments. This testing area is part of pioneering initiatives of the sector such as OCEANTEC or NAUTILUS.

BiMEP (Biscay Marine Energy Platform) is an open-sea infrastructure to test marine energy devices promoted and developed by the Basque Energy Board (EVE). Through a public pre-commercial purchasing process, EVE has allocated €2,500,000 for the development of a floating wave energy collector prototype, developed by the technology-based company OCEANTEC Marine Energies, which will be set up at BiMEP and will be connected to the network that same year. This company was born from the collaboration between TECNALIA and IBERDROLA and was the first to test an ocean wave energy collector prototype in Spain.

On the other hand, NAUTILUS Floating Solutions was created from an industrial consortium comprised by ASTILLEROS DE MURUETA, TAMOIN, VELATIA and VICINAY MARINE INNOVACIÓN that with the technological contribution of TECNALIA is developing floating solutions for the development of offshore power in deep waters. A small scale test of the concept was conducted in 2014 and they are currently working on having a fully operating prototype by 2018, expecting a major impact from that moment on in local industry by creating 100 new jobs in the first five years of operation.

Similarly, TECNALIA participated in international alliances to favour the transfer of knowledge in this area. Specifically, they have signed a collaboration agreement with the British Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult for research and innovation in renewable marine power and exchange knowledge on technologies to channel energy in marine energy farms such as HVDC (electric energy transmission both in high-voltage and direct current), rain erosion test methodologies and technologies for erosion-resistant coatings.

Perspectives 2016 Forum

Perspectives 2016 “Industry and Technology: marine energy opportunities” was inaugurated by the Regional Minister of Economic Development and Competitiveness of the Basque Government, Arantxa Tapia and the Chairman of TECNALIA, Javier Ormazabal, and has had the participation of leading Basque companies of the sector such as Iberdrola, Adwen and Vicinay, new companies such as Nautilus, and global benchmark organisations like ORE Catapult (Great Britain) or SINTEF (Norway).

The Forum concluded with an event honouring the former Managing Director of TECNALIA since its creation in 2011, Joseba Jauregizar, who has been appointed “TECNALIA Ambassador” in recognition of his professional career and his contribution to the TECNALIA project. The closure of the Perspectives 2016 forum was done by the new Managing Director, Iñaki San Sebastián.

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Marta Fernández

T. 902 760 000


Tecnalia - Inspiring Business



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