SPAIN IS PREPARING TO BENEFIT FROM THE HUGE POTENTIAL OF THE SEA AND ADD IT TO THE REST OF ITS RENEWABLES PORTFOLIO IN ORDER TO PROGRESS WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF A RELIABLE AND SECURE ENERGY STRATEGY.
Spain has considerable marine energy potential. Thanks to the characteristics of our coast, the most promising technology is wave energy. Several prototypes are being developed in Spain to capture wave energy and a number of test centres are being built. These projects will form the nucleus of this new renewable energy sector.
The most outstanding Spanish projects under way are: the project in Santoña (Cantabria) involving a 40 kW prototype buoy: the first phase of a larger project involving the installation of 10 buoys with a total capacity of 1.4 MW; Project “Calma” in Asturias: an innovative and unique project using home-grown technology to install a 50-MW electricity generation facility developed by the Spanish company, Hidroflot; Project “Pasajes” (Asturias) to commission a highly efficient and cost competitive wave energy device with 500 kW of power; the new seawall in the port of Mutriku (Guipuzcoa) which is based on the oscillating water column principal and involves 16 turbines with a total capacity of 300 kW; a project in Galicia to demonstrate the Pelamis technology; another project to integrate two types of oscillating water column turbines in the La Guardia seawall (Galicia), etc.
The marine infrastructure for researching, demonstrating and operating wave energy converters that will be constructed in Armintza (Vizcaya) is another outstanding example. Referred to as BIMEP (Biscay Marine Energy Platform), this facility will be operational in two years time; it will be designed to have a capacity of up 20 MW, and will require an investment of between Euros 15 and 20 million.
In the Canary Islands, unique scientific-technological infrastructure is also being developed to facilitate access to the deep ocean. This facility will be fully operational in 2011 and will house a laboratory for testing marine energy devices (offshore wind, wave energy, ocean currents, etc.) Granadilla (Tenerife) is another municipality preparing to have a wave energy plant. Furthermore, several technologists are involved in the R&D of a variety of technological solutions, such as Wedge Global, which has developed a process for manufacturing a power takeoff device based on a linear switched reluctance generator (that does not use permanent magnets).
• August 2006. Iberdrola signs contract to build first wave energy facility in Spain, located in Santoña (Cantabria).
• October 2008. Iberdrola and Tecnalia connect a prototype wave energy device to the grid in Pasajes (Guipuzcoa).
• 2009. The Biscay Marine Energy Platform Project commences with the backing of the Basque Energy Agency (EVE).
• 2010. The 2011-2020 Renewable Energies Plan will include marine energies as another renewable source for the first