Energising the world’s deltas

To help ensure that Europe and, in particular, the Netherlands, takes full advantage of the potential of marine, the EU-funded Energising Deltas project combined water safety and water management with sustainable energy to create an innovative export product. The project brought together three leading energy companies and three research organisations with the aim of gaining knowledge about optimising energy production while simultaneously minimising its environmental impact.

Additional tools

An Energising Deltas test facility © Stichting Dutch Marine Energy Centre. An Energising Deltas test facility © Stichting Dutch Marine Energy Centre.

" Energising Deltas enabled us to reach a market we would not have been able to serve individually as projects like these are of considerable size. "

Hans van Breugel, Project Beneficiary Tocardo

By combining water management with renewable energy harvested from water, the Energising Deltas project created an all-in-one Dutch export concept that provides advice on how to organise, design, build and operate a marine-energy project. 

It comes with a range of innovative new tools, including technical tools for optimising energy production; impact assessment tools for minimising environmental effects; and a governance model to help facilitate the decision-making process, develop financial and business plans and manage marine energy production. 

Substantial market potential 

In terms of society’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, one the greatest challenges we face is the need to transition from our dependence on fossil fuels towards an interconnected system of clean, renewable and infinite domestic resources. According to project researchers, a key component in this shift is marine energy which, if property developed and managed, could have a substantial impact on the global renewable-energy mix. 

Marine energy harvests energy generated by oceans and rivers. A significant contribution to sustainable energy production can be achieved by constructing tidal energy (energy from tidal flows with water turbines) and blue energy (osmosis energy from fresh and salt-water) systems in levees, dams and storm-surge barriers. According to a 2016 Ocean Energy Systems report, it is estimated that the global potential of marine-energy deployment could lead to an installed capacity of 300 GW by 2050. In Europe alone, 100 GW could be realised by 2050 – representing 10 % of Europe’s total electricity demand. 

The Dutch advantage

By working closely with the Dutch Marine Energy Centre and the Energy Valley Foundation, the project successfully positioned Dutch trade and industry at the forefront of the global marine-energy market.

To summarise, the project contributed to the national and international positioning of the Energising Delta concept by enhancing European interest in innovative crossovers between energy and water. More specifically, it provided the project partners with an innovative Dutch product with a strong export potential.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Energising Deltas” is EUR 1 378 980, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 549 980 through the ‘West Netherlands’ Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


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