University of Cyprus - Oceanography centre – UCY
Opening of the BEL: 15/05/2018, Nicosia
More than 20 representatives from university, research centres, public institutions and business support organizations attended the 1st Blue Energy Laboratory in Nicosia on 15th of May.
The meeting was organized by Oceanography Center, University of Cyprus, that is acting in the project as partner, with collaboration of Cyprus Employers & Industrialist Federation (OEB), that is supporting Oceanography Center in the organizing of the Blue Energy laboratories.
During the 1st BEL, the MAESTRALE project was presented as well as the result from the BE Blue Energy potential analysis for Cyprus. In addition, also past initiatives for promoting BE in Cyprus were introduced to participants, that discussed the opportunities for using BE technologies in the area as well as the need to establish a common framework for maritime spatial planning. Participants expressed also the need to define the legal framework and permitting procedures in the maritime space of Cyprus. During the meeting a PESTLE analysis took place to investigate the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental aspects of the promotion of BE in our island.
The participants stated the importance of cooperation and knowledge sharing between the different entities in order to solve important issues such as the permitting procedure and the maritime spatial planning, the technological innovation and maturity as well as the possible environmental effects. The importance of such meetings was stated as essential for preparing the national plan for the maritime spatial planning.
2nd BEL: 20/09/2018, Nicosia
On 20th September the partner Cyprus Oceanographic Centre organized its second BEL. During the meeting, that counted on the participation of 67 representatives from local authorities, BSOs, research centres and general public, the national strategy and action plan for the integrated management of coastal zones in Cyprus for the period 2018-2030 was presented. Afterward, it was presented the provisions of the national legislation on Maritime Spatial Planning. The MAESTRALE project was introduced, to the audience, as well as the in-depth results from the BE potential analysis for Cyprus. In addition, the results of the 1st BEL PESTEL analysis were discussed. Finally, speakers from Greece presented the actions and the strategy for the development of maritime spatial planning in Greece and the prospects of the blue growth in Greece and the challenges for the companies since the beginning of the implementation of the maritime spatial planning.
The participants point out the importance of creating a single national plan for maritime spatial planning, which will smooth the current licensing procedures of Blue Energy projects in Cyprus. The positive effects of the creation of Blue Energy projects were highlighted, while the planning and then the implementation of 2 pilot projects of Blue Energy in the MAESTRALE project were decided.
The 1st Pilot project is a Marine Biomass plant, which is going to pump sea water on shore and grow algae in order to be used as biofuel or to be dried and directly used for energy production. The 2nd PP is a pilot wave energy plant. This project will use an innovative floating technology for wave energy harvesting. This technology has already been tested with promising results in areas with lower energy potential than the optimal areas that exist around the island.
3rd BEL for Cyprus University
On 1st March 2019 the Oceanography Center of the University of Cyprus OC-UCY organized the 3nd BEL in Nicosia. During this meeting, attended by 86 representatives (mainly from enterprises, national public authorities, universities/research centres and general public), several topics have been addressed.
The Cyprian 3rd BEL started with a presentation by OC-UCY on the major achievements of MAESTRALE Project and also the forthcoming activities. In particular, the event focused on techno-economic issues for BE technologies. At the BEL, the invited experts from University College of Cork, Exxon Mobil and National Technological University of Athens spoke about the status and challenges of wave energy, marine biofuel and offshore wind energy. Training activities were also carried on engaging the audience to find a suitable location and make a business plan about a BE project. To achieve that, it was given data about machine power output, regional energy potential, human activities, physical characteristics and ship routes.
The participants had to find a suitable location and address if a BE is feasible at the selected location.
The first Pilot Project is focused on wave energy using an innovating WEC (Wave Energy Converter) created by the SME Sea Wave Energy Limited (SWEL), a R&D company based in Cyprus and in UK that has been focused on the design and development of its WEC “Wave Line Magnet”, a device that has been evolved for more than 10 years achieving numerous patents.. The WEC is innovative because is cheaper than other well-known WECs and it performs very well in the wave climate of Cyprus.
The focus area is the South-West coast of Cyprus, though the environmental and socioeconomic factors will influence its precise location. The 2nd Pilot Project is on marine biofuel. This Pilot was selected to use the current technological capacity of Agriculture Research Institute and use the by-products of an electricity power stations. The idea is to use CO2 produced by fossil fuel burning for feeding and regulating temperature of the algae population to extract bio-fuel from micro-algae cultivation.
4th BEL in Cyprus
It was held last 3 June at University of Cyprus premises the 4th BEL for Maestrale partner University of Cyprus.
In the workshop were presented the updated MAESTRALE results, the geodatabase data developed (http: // maestrale - webgis. unisi. it / ) and both proposed pilot projects for blue energy. The first project relates to the utilization of marine biomass through micro- algae and the second relates to the conversion of wave energy by using an innovative Cypriot technology developed by SWEL (Www. Swel. Eu).
A presentation of the national renewable energy strategy for the period 2020-2030 from Mr. George Partasides from the Energy Agency, who explained the existing situation and the objectives of the Cyprus national plan strategy for 2030. He also reported ways of promoting Blue Energy as well as policies and measures that are being implemented in Cyprus to achieve the 2030 targets . Then, Mr. George Kotsiovelos, Manager of SYCHEM CYPRUS, presented combined systems of energy geoexchange and desalination in hotel buildings using seawater. In his presentation , he referred to how the systems work and examples of how those systems are used from AMATHUS Hotel and 'OVAL' building which are located in Limassol.
Then the Mr. Michael Fountoulis from the Department of Electrical and Mechanical Services descripted the Underwater cables Regulations and licensing procedures. Blue Energy project connection conditions to the distribution network were presented by Mr. Petros Minas , Assistant Director of Studies and Connections of the Distribution System Operator . The speaker explained the complete process that a project has to do in order to be connected to the distribution network.
Then Dr. Dimokratis Grigoriadis and Mr. Charalambos Frantzis from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Construction of University of Cyprus, presented an innovative WEC of the Cypriot company SWEL to convert wave energy and the verification measurements made on the generated power from the WEC. Finally , Mr. Fotis Efthimiou CEO of PHOTOR IA LTD, presented his innovative WEC. The speaker said that this technology will be piloted in Thessaloniki in about a month while he intents to install another device off the coast of Cyprus .
Great public participation with questions, comments and suggestions at the end of each speech. Discussions were centered mainly in the legislative framework that governs the (often discourage) the application of new Blue Energy technologies in Cyprus.