Japan plans ocean energy R&D demo project

Illustration/The 100kW tidal demonstrator developed by IHI Corporation and NEDO (Photo: NEDO/IHI)

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan plans to invite bids for the long-term ocean energy research and development project to accelerate the commercialization of marine energy technologies.

The demonstration R&D project will be conducted in two phases, where the initial phase will be focused on the feasibility of carrying out long-term empirical research on ocean energy generation.

It is understood that in this phase of the project various assessments will be made including those regarding potential environmental changes that could arise from the long-term device demonstration in the selected areas.

Also, the initial phase is expected to result in the identification of ocean energy generating devices suitable for demonstration, and grid-connection options for devices to be tested.

The second phase of the project will see the demonstration of the devices that were selected as suitable and with high commercial potential in the initial phase.

The real-sea demonstration of devices will be aimed at verifying their performance, environmental effects, installation methods, monitoring, as well as on data gathering related to the cost of power generation.

The information collected during the project is expected to help lower the costs of energy production from renewable ocean energy systems, and showcase their economic viability for providing power for the country’s islands from 2030 onward.

NEDO noted the performance evaluation, environmental impact and other assessments made in the project will be put up for verification by a dedicated committee.

The total worth of the 3-year R&D demonstration project is estimated to be a little over $11.6 million (¥1.3 billion), and is expected to run until the end of 2020.

The draft plan outlining the scope of the project has been put up for public consultation until January 18, 2018.

NEDO said it expects to proceed with the call for applications for the project early in February 2018.

Established as a governmental organization in 1980, NEDO’s aim is to promote the development and introduction of new energy technologies.

Research and development of industrial technology was later added, and today NEDO is active in a wide variety of areas as one of the largest public research and development management organizations in Japan.

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