4 “blue energy” days, the 1st BLUE DEAL Transferring Lab
· BLUE DEAL project has chosen this online format of participatory activities to present the possibilities of implementation of this type of energy in Crete
· More than 200 people from 20 countries and 150 students have participated live in these workshops
Throughout this week, CRES and BLUE DEAL partners in collaboration with Region of Crete has hosted the first Transferring Lab of the BLUE DEAL project. This event has consisted of a series of participatory workshops at an international level that have been carried out online due to the persistence of the COVID-19 restrictions.
For 4 days, these workshops have focused on presenting the current situation of the Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) ecosystem, its possibilities of implementation in Crete, the different types of current devices and technologies, challenges to overcome...
During the first day, the priorities for blue energy at regional level and the prospects at European level were presented. George Alexakis, Vice - Governor on European and International Affairs at Region of Crete, highlighted that the coastal zone and the Marine Spatial Planning are critical factors and consist of the appropriate framework for the location and development of marine wind farms in Greece and especially in Crete.
The offshore renewable energy strategy recently communicated by the European Commission, envisages an increase in offshore wind power in Europe from 12 GW today to 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW (and at least 40 GW of ocean energy) by 2050. So in this line, offshore wind energy is expected to be the largest source of electricity generation in Europe.
From her side, Eleni Hatziyanni from DG MARE, European Commission, stressed that it’s a very good time to bet on these energies since the European Commission is launching new Policies and opportunities in this line. Also Panagiotis Papastamatiou - CEO of Hellenic Wind Energy Association, affirmed that “the moment is now” and that they hope to be able to launch this type of initiatives.
The second day was dedicated to the most technical part and to the analysis of the possibilities of implementation in Crete. What devices are the most appropriate? In which area should they be installed? What is their supply and energy demand?
In order to solve these questions, the project partners previously analyzed the area and propose that a 300 MW floating off-shore wind could be installed at north-east of Crete. The potential is very good and an average annual wind speed of 9m/s at 100m is estimated. So Renewable Energy Sources on island will be able to provide 88% of electricity by 2030, as a result, very expensive oil-fueled plants may shut down.
After the presentation of this technical results, a thorough discussion followed with engaged stakeholders (HCMR, WWF Greece, Hellenic Ornithological Society, Ministry of Tourism, Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities) and attendants.
It’s important also to remember that we need to “face and stop the world climate crisis and move to climate neutrality”, as Dimitris Tsekeris from WWF Greece reminded us. But in order to make good use of these renewable energies and to be able to install them, all the actors involved must be taken into account: fishing, the marine ecosystem, bird migrations, tourism...
Also, an Open Innovation Challenge has been launched during the third day. This action aims to obtain possible challenges related to Blue Energies that can be solved by companies and entities from any European country.
The objective is to involve entrepreneurs, companies, SMEs and entities so that they can generate contacts, synergies and possible cooperation’s. These challenges will soon be published on the project website.
A very important part of the project is its dissemination, educational and social work. For this reason, the last day of the event has been dedicated entirely to students knowing what Blue Energy is and the opportunities and new jobs that they will create in the near future.
In addition, to make this presentation, a 3D modeling visualization tool has been used that has allowed students to see from different points of view, how their cost would be if 3 types of devices were installed. This tool is available on the new project platform https://bluedealmed.eu/.
BLUE DEAL is a European project made up of 12 partners from 6 Mediterranean countries and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for the Pre-accession Assistance Fund, with a budget of 2.8 million euros.
The project seeks to facilitate the creation of links and synergies between companies, researchers, entities and public authorities in order to promote research, innovation and investment in marine renewable energy in the Mediterranean.