BLUE-GIFT is a €2.5 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project that aims to help Atlantic Area companies test the next generation of marine renewable energy (MRE) technology in real marine environments. Alongside BiMEP, WavEC and PLOCAN, SEENEOH provides a testing ground for developers of tidal turbine technologies.
Located in the coastal regions of Spain, France, Portugal, Ireland and Scotland, the partnership represents the regions of Europe where ocean energy resources are the most important. The development of an MRE industry in these regions represents a unique opportunity to stimulate their economic development. The fight against climate change and the security of energy supply are also major challenges and MRE represents an important and still largely untapped asset that will help reduce GHG emissions.
The cost of pre-commercial testing and demonstration for MREs is high and investors are reluctant to invest until the technology has been proven in a real-world setting.
Blue-GIFT is implementing a coordinated MRE technology demonstration program that encourages long-term demonstration and risk reduction. This will maximise the use of the infrastructure to demonstrate a minimum of 8 MRE technologies, representing more than 24,000 hours of operation, working with more than 20 SMEs, supporting more than 30 jobs and helping to secure a €15 million investment.