Internationally recognised standards and certification schemes bring a wave of renewable growth opportunities as a new initiative sets out to accelerate the use of marine energy technology across the low carbon industry.
The MET-CERTIFIED project initiated by the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC) is helping to progress the development of a global standardisation for marine energy devices destined for use by industry in the next years. This in turn will increase the interest from investors seeking to invest with confidence in multiple or large scale marine energy projects.
An initiative which aims to increase the adoption of insurable and bankable marine energy projects in the Interreg 2 SEAS region – a European Territorial Cooperation Programme covering South of England, North of France, the west-coasts of Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) – is using the expertise from certification bureaus and test facilities in the development of internationally recognised standards and certification schemes for the sector.
The project consortium consists of 10 project partners and several observer partners. The project partners are: Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC), Ghent University, European Martine Energy Centre (EMEC), Netherlands Standards Institute (NEN), Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre (PTEC), POM West-Flanders, DNV-GL, Lloyd’s Register, Ifremer, Tocardo.
Peter Scheijgrond, project manager for DMEC says: "Certification helps to reduce perceived risks of new technologies used in marine energy power generation projects and can help to increase market confidence in how devices perform and their structural integrity, as well as helping this sector attract previously untapped finance schemes and making exporting marine energy technology across the world easier."
MET-CERTIFIED is assessing the entire process of certification, from concept to construction through to the installation of a full-scale tidal power solution with the support of the industry partners. The initiative is of huge importance for stakeholders seeking information and comfort in how technology can be, and should be, certified – critical to groups such as banks and insurers through to consenting authorities, end-users, test facilities and certification bureaus.
"The MET-CERTIFIED partnership is working on standards and certification schemes for marine renewables both at the national and international level through the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment (IECRE)," highlights Scheijgrond. "We will provide feedback to the IEC committees by applying the standards and certification schemes in eight real-world demonstrations projects. Amongst others, we will apply the principles of certification in projects using the Tocardo turbines, the EEL Energy technology and the PLAT-I platform developed by Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) using SCHOTTEL Instream Turbines (SITs)."
To accurately reflect the needs of the marine renewable sector, MET-CERTIFIED also organises workshops for stakeholders. A recent finance workshop, led by Andrew Smith of Deja Blue Consulting, had as goal to raise awareness about international certification as a positive tool in fundraising, and to discuss both the benefits and challenges of implementing certification during technology development.
MET-CERTIFIED is receiving funding from the Interreg 2 Seas programme, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract No 2S01-020. Also the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, the provinces of South and North Holland and the Belgian Province of West Flanders are providing financial support.