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 Eu and energy research

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Non-nuclear energy

R&D Topics

Fission and radiation protection

Overview of current programme activities

Blades of a Wells turbine
The main areas of OES research funded by the European Commission are the following:
  • Offshore wave.
  • Shoreline wave.
  • Salinity gradient power.
  • Generic.


From 1992 till 2004 , 26 projects have been funded. The table below provides information on their eligible cost and the EC contribution.


 Framework Programme Nbre of Projects Total Eligible Cost Total EC Contribution
    (M€) (M€)
FP2 2 0.52 0.52
FP3 8 6.36 3.05
FP4 11 12.14 6.91
FP5 4 7.47 4.54
FP6 1 1.59 1.5
Total 26 28.08 16.52

Technology sub-areas researched 

Offshore Wave
The highest wave power potential is found offshore. In the North Atlantic this can reach up to 70kW/m. Two offshore wave concepts involving moored floating devices have been studied under "CRAFT" projects.

Shoreline Wave
Several projects have studied oscillating water column (OWC) concepts. Two prototype installations, with a combined capacity of 900kWe, have been constructed under FP4 projects. These are operational and provide power to the grid, so the feasibility of installing and exploiting this concept has been validated. More work is needed to improve the energy conversion efficiency and plant designs.

Tidal Current
One concept, using a horizontal axis rotor, has been designed and installed under an FP4 project. Tidal current potential is a good prospect as the power output may be accurately predicted.

Plant Design Tools
The concept of a plant design tool for a tidal current turbine has been developed and tested. Once fully developed such a tool will assist in the first phase of plant design as well as site and device selection.

It is important to network activities in this technology sector so that research is conducted in a more integrated manner and greater synergies are created. There is a strong need for common testing methods, the sharing of facilities and research infrastructures, for mobility, training and for dissemination of results. A network has been created to pave the way towards such integration.

Northern European wave climate