LIFE DEMOWAVE - Demonstration of the efficiency & environmental impact of wave energy converters (WEC) in high-energy coasts.

LIFE14 CCM/ES/001209

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Maria Angeles ÁLVAREZ VÁZQUEZ
Tel: 34986118888
Email: administracion@quantuminnovative.es

Project description:


In order to mitigate against the negative impacts of climate change, the European Commission adopted a Green Paper (COM(2006) 105 final) establishing a European Strategy for Sustainable, Competitive and Secure Energy. Additionally, the Renewables Directive (2009/28/CE) established that 20% of energy consumption in the European Union must come from renewable sources by 2020. A Eurostat report in 2012 indicated that 14% of energy consumption in the EU came from renewable sources, so the path will be steeper in the final stage. In January 2014, the Blue Energy action plan emphasised support for energy generated by wave and tidal power. In this respect, Galicia, Spain, has a potential for up to 75 kW per metre of wave front (and an average of 40 kW). This makes it one of the areas with the best potential for wave and tidal power generation worldwide, with good accessibility and an exceptional proximity to points of consumption.


The main objective of the LIFE DEMOWAVE project was to demonstrate the viability of two wave energy converter (WEC) devices, which have already been researched and patented, for electricity generation. The two prototypes, each one scaled at 25 kW, were manufactured, installed and tested to demonstrate their socio-economic viability, as well as transferability potential, based on their robust design and systems efficiency (e.g. survival capacity under extreme weather conditions). The project also aimed to highlight the environmental benefits of the system, by quantifying the reduction of carbon footprint and other pollutants along the entire cycle, in comparison with other technologies, and identifying and minimising its impact on biodiversity.


The LIFE DEMOWAVE project demonstrated the technical feasibility of the use of wave power for electric generation to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. Two devices for 25 kW wave power generation were designed, constructed, installed and tested in the experimental site of Punta Langosteira (A Coruña) in Spain. One is based on a hydraulic generation system and the other on a mechanical generation system. On the basis of the results obtained regarding energy production, the hydraulic model showed better performance than the mechanical one. The devices incorporated a new technology developed and patented by project consortium members, enabling a reduction in infrastructure and components from current wave energy converter (WEC) devices. The two generation systems were optimised for high-energy waves and survival. Therefore, the results under experimental conditions for electricity production and greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction were lower than expected in the proposal. However, the results were in line with those obtained in other TRL (Technology Readiness Level) 5 prototypes (e.g. project PowerBoy). Besides, DEMOWAVE prototypes also had reduced Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) CO2 emissions and costs compared to other TRL 5 prototypes.

Further improvements should be made to the hydraulic device design to ready it for commercialisation, specifically to increase the amount of energy produced. In this regard, associated beneficiary UVIGO received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, within the framework of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2013-2016, to draft the final proposal of the OATWave project for the Fast Track to Innovation call of the Horizon 2020 programme. The objective of the follow-on OATWave project is to develop commercial-scale equipment (200 kW), using the results of LIFE DEMOWAVE to optimise the technology.

Regarding policy, the results contribute to the demonstration of wave power as a means to help mitigate climate change, with easily replicable equipment. The project is in linewith the Strategic Roadmap "Building Ocean Energy for Europe" delivered by the European Commission in November 2016. At national level, the project contributes to the Spanish Renewable Energy Plan 2011-2020. At regional level, the implementation of the project allowed the Galician Energy Institute (INEGA) to define and optimise the procedure to be followed by other applicants that would be interested in installing new prototypes in the experimental site of Punta Langosteira (A Corua).

The project beneficiaries monitored the environmental impact of the project, considering among other things an analysis of pollutants, damage to the seafloor, variation in marine animal patterns, and attenuation of waves. After evaluating the indicators defined to assess the impact on the experimental site, it was concluded that, after the project implementation, the only parameter that was significantly modified by the placement of the concrete blocks of the mooring system was the morphology of the seabed.

The wave power device developed within the project showed promising results, with high survival behaviour in extreme wave conditions; a compact and non-aggressive anchoring system; low costs in both CAPEX and OPEX (thanks to its ease of access for maintenance and minimal submerged mass); and returns compared to similar technologies for TRL 5.

Innovative features of the prototypes include design independent of environmental conditions like sea level (thanks to decoupling in the mooring system), and a new regulation system that allows it to operate in a wide range of wave amplitudes (2-15 meters). The equipment is easily scalable to higher power.

In the long term, the main socio-economic effect will be to contribute to the reviving of the shipbuilding industry in Galicia, through the realisation of wave energy generation systems. This is likely to open a new market in this sector, built on the already excellent capabilities of local shipyards.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies


renewable energy

Target EU Legislation

  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • Directive 2009/28 - Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (23.04.2009)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description Quantum Innovative S.L. is a startup company that began in February 2009, but with a clear vocation for research provided from its origin as a spin-off of a research group at the University of Vigo, CIMA - Center of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering. Today the company is ranked as an IEBT (Technology Based Entrepreneurship) by the Xunta de Galicia, in recognition of its innovative character and technology development.


Project reference LIFE14 CCM/ES/001209
Duration 01-OCT-2015 to 30-JUN -2019
Total budget 1,836,788.00 €
EU contribution 1,034,119.00 €
Project location Galicia(España)


Read more:

Leaflet "LifeDemowave: Demonstration of the efficiency & e ...
Poster "LifeDemo wave: Demonstration of the efficiency & ...
Poster "LifeDemowave: Demonstration of the efficiency & e ...
Poster "LifeDemowave: Demonstration of the efficiency & e ...
Poster "LifeDemowave: Demonstration of the efficiency & e ...
Poster "LifeDemo wave: Demonstration of the efficiency & ...
Poster "LifeDemowave: Demonstration of the efficiency & e ...
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Twitter page
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (Spanish version, wi ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report
Slides Presentation "LifeDemowave: Demonstration of the efficiency & e ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version