The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted €10m loan to Finnish wave energy developer AW Energy to develop the commercial WaveRoller technology in Portugal.
The funding deal under the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Project (EDP) program is intended to support and accelerate the commercial roll-out of WaveRoller wave energy technology, which is designed to convert wave energy into electricity.
EU research, science and innovation commissioner Carlos Moedas said: "We want to support renewable energy pioneers to contribute solutions to global climate change challenges, while generating employment and sustainable economic growth at home in Europe."
The project represents the first to be supported by the InnovFin EDP program, which aims to help bridge the gap between demonstration and commercialization of the first-of-a-kind projects in the fields of renewable energy and hydrogen fuel cells.
Since 2012, AW-Energy is operating three 100kW grid-connected prototype units installed near Peniche in Portugal.
The new loan will be used by AW-Energy to install a full-scale 350kW demonstration device in the same area this year. The project is estimated to cost EUR19m.
AW-Energy’s CEO, John Liljelund, said: "This is a significant milestone not only for WaveRoller and the wave energy sector, but for the ocean energy industry as a whole, which is currently on the brink of a commercial breakthrough.
"As a constant and far more predictable form of renewable energy than wind and solar, wave energy will be a highly valuable addition to the global renewable energy mix."
AW-Energy’s WaveRoller submerged wave energy converter is attached to the sea bed in the near-shore area.
The movement of the waves allows the system to generate electricity, which is then supplied to the onshore electricity grid.
Image: Officials from EIB and AW-Energy during financing deal signing ceremony. Photo: courtesy of European Investment Bank.