The European Investment Bank (EIB), will invest up to €10 million (US$11 million) in AW Energy, a company from Finland which developed “WaveRoller” wave energy technology. The investment will support and speed up the commercial roll-out of European wave energy technology. It is the first project to be supported by the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Project (EDP) programme.
AW Energy has developed a near-shore underwater device that converts wave energy into electrical power. In 2012, the company installed three 100kW demonstrations units connected to the grid near Peniche, in Portugal. The support of EIB will help to keep the company firmly on the track of commercialization of the WaveRoller®. AW Energy is about to install a full-scale 350kW device in the same area of Portugal.
EIB Vice-President, Jan Vapaavuori, said:
“I think it would be hard to underestimate the importance of this type of pilot projects that can open up untapped sources of clean energy. One of the goals of InnovFin is to support new technologies and the EIB is glad it can support this project through this instrument. The symbolic importance of a highly innovative Finnish company putting a project in place in Portugal makes this a truly European initiative.”
EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, added:
“An investment in renewable energy technologies is an investment in Europe's leadership of these new industries. 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."
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 whole, which is currently at 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. Bankable technology is the cornerstone when building a new industry. Having prestigious institutions like the EIB on board adds plenty of credibility to the equation.”
The Wave Energy Device project has the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020. InnovFin is a range of EIB Group products designed to facilitate access to finance for innovative businesses.