Renewable Energies in the marine-coastal areas of the Adriatic-Ionian region

PRESENTATION OF THE PROJECT

ENERCOAST aims at providing a state-of-the-art of the renewable energy sector (solar cooling systems, tidal/ current plants, heat pumps and wind turbines plants, little and medium sized). Such a result is achieved by means of a deep analysis of the available data and technologies for the exploitation of renewable energy sources (RES) in marine-coastal areas, aiming at identifying technical and non-technical solutions to increase the use of such technologies. Therefore, it aims at contributing to EU Blue Growth strategy through a transnational cooperation process in the Adriatic-Ionian sub-region

MAIN MESSAGES

  • The Mediterranean Sea has a very high natural potential for the exploitation of renewable energy sources. In particular solar thermal and photovoltaic are the most used technologies in the Adriatic-Ionian Region not only because of its ideal geographic position and natural potential but also for the best incentives system these technologies benefit from. Even wind and marine energy represent promising sectors although different barriers – both structural and administrative – still need to be overcome (high investment costs, uncertainty of the legal-political framework, grid connections limits, and social acceptability).
  • Despite the great energy potential of the Mediterranean, the exploitation of renewable energy sources is still limited and a lot of efforts have to be done to pave the way to diffuse Blue Growth by boosting the renewable energy sector.
  • Considering air quality limits set by the current European legislation in order to protect human health, the hourly nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations are those of major concern among all air pollutants emitted by passenger ships.
  • The involvement of the private sector – which could provide investments – and of all stakeholders (local and regional institutions, governments, universities, economic associations) is essential to solve the technical and non-technical barriers that contrast with the diffusion of renewable energies technologies. This involvement is also necessary to increase social acceptance for blue energy implementation.
  • The development of new and more suitable technologies whose investment costs are particularly high is crucial for assuring a renewable energy widespread. In addition, the different analyses undertaken have showed serious gaps in relation to the potential of energy sources, the diffusion of energy plants, and the lack of cost-benefit analyses.

KEY DELIVERABLE

  • FINAL REPORT ON RES AVAILABILITY, THE EXISTING INSTALLATIONS, AND THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEGISLATION IN EACH COUNTRY INVOLVED MED countries are endowed with a huge solar and wind energy potential which could bring various benefits to the MED region. Exploitation of sea energy (wave, tidal, heat pumps) for electricity and heat production is also one of the most promising sector but the use of e.g. heat pumps is still relatively modest. Providing incentives—subsidies, grants for their use—could help overcome these barriers. To increase the exploitation of renewable energy sources in marine coastal areas there is a need to adapt the policy framework that will provide an effective management and which will guarantee a sustainable development of MED area.
  • FINAL REPORT: 4 DETAILED ANALYSES OF TECHNOLOGIES UNDER INVESTIGATIONS Main technical and economic information for the analyzed technologies. Data for these technologies were collected from existing installations in Europe and the Mediterranean area, and listed in tables prepared for each technology followed with list of existing literature. Data from technology tables together with information on existing literature can be very good starting point in future case studies analyses.
  • STATE-OF-THE-ART STUDY OF THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR IN THE A-I COASTAL-MARINE AREAS State-of-the-art on the technical, economic, environmental, and legislative general framework of Renewable Energies development in the Adriatic Ionian Region. The main highlighted problems are high initial investments and lack of proper support by the States. At present, there are still many obstacles to overcome to achieve the promotion of renewable energy sources and their production to a higher level. The main problem is presented by national authorities who have to simplified procedures and authorizations for installation of various RES plants.
  • FINAL REPORT: PROPOSALS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS FOR THE EXPLOITATION OF RES 8 case studies on Renewable energy use in different locations in the Ionian: the technologies included seawater heat pump systems, solar cooling systems, vertical wind turbines, off-shore horizontal wind turbines and wave energy converters. The payback periods of the investments and the Net Present Values were not favorable except in simulations benefitting from public investment (state subsidy) either for the capital cost of the produced electricity or its feed-in tariff. However, due to the environmental benefits of these technologies (e.g. reduced greenhouse gas emissions) and the need to stop dependence on fossil fuels, public support of the most promising of them would increase their use and help overcome economic and technological (for tidal energy) barriers.

TECHNICALS HINTS

  • To sustain Research & Development on technologies to lower the investment costs
  • To sustain Research & Development and pilot projects to solve technical problems related to sea impacts as erosion, strong winds, marine storms, etc.;
  • To sustain Research & Development on data collection and analyses which is quite weak;
  • To spread best practices and create for instance a network of tourist ports that have been developing initiatives on energy efficiency and on renewable energies

GOVERNANCE HINTS

  • To increase awareness of the local community on the importance of Renewable energy (to extend for instance the use of the French law on Public Debate to share views and strategies);
  • To develop tools and strategies to ensure concrete benefits from the renewable plants deployments to the local community (e.g. to introduce at regional or local level a sort of mechanism for ensuring some positive impacts – such as the Payment for Environmental Services (PES) mechanism);
  • To improve incentives systems that better reward little-medium plants (national laws already are into force but could be improved in that sense);
  • To connect Maritime Spatial Planning with Blue Energies.

SYNERGIES WITH OTHER PROJECTS

  • Participation in different roundtables to share activities and results with other MED maritime projects such as BLUENE and SMART PORT
  • Contribution to the activities undertaken within Adriacold (IPA Adriatic), focused on solar cooling pilot plants installations