Wavepiston ponders relocating as Denmark’s support stalls

Wavepiston 2016 deployment (Photo: Wavepiston)

Danish wave energy developer Wavepiston is considering moving its activities to another country due to lack of support from the Danish government for the development of wave energy sector.

Wavepiston has sent a letter to the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Cilmate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, informing him about the challenges of developing wave energy technology in Denmark.

Namely, Wavepiston recently redeployed its wave energy prototype at the DanWEC test site, located off the west coast of Denmark.

However, the company is questioning its future deployments in Denmark as a result of ‘very low’ support for wave energy developments in the country.

Michael Henriksen, CEO of Wavepiston, said: “Compared to other European countries there is currently very low support in Denmark for the development of new renewable energy technologies like wave energy.

“If this support does not change, we will in our next development phase most likely have to move our activities to another country where the support is better.”

In Denmark, the incentives for wave power developments are similar to wind energy. The main source for public funding for wave energy is the country’s energy technological development and demonstration program (EUDP), according to Ocean Energy Systems.

The purpose of EUDP is to exploit and develop the Danish business potential within the energy sector, as well as reaching a number of political goals including supply security, a cleaner environment, and cost efficiency.

The EUDP has a yearly budget of approximately DKK 180 million ($27.5 million) for co-financing the development and demonstration of new and effective energy technologies.

New wave energy technologies can be demonstrated at two of Denmark’s open-sea wave energy test sites. The DanWEC test site is suitable for testing of prototype devices, while Nissum Bredning sheltered test site is well suited for trials of scaled devices.

Also, the Danish wave energy developers have created the Danish Partnership for Wave Energy, and prepared a strategy for development of wave energy in 2012.

In 2015, the Partnership for Wave Power published a set of roadmaps for development of wave power, which aim at Danish and international commercial success on the wave power sector by 2030. The roadmap work has been funded by the Danish Energy Agency.

Wave energy is estimated to be able to contribute 15% to the total Danish electricity consumption and create opportunities for export of components, products and jobs, according to Ocean Energy Systems.

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