EnFAIT – COMMERCIALIZATION OF TIDAL ENERGY
The EnFAIT project is a flagship project of the European Union (EU) aimed at promoting the commercialization of a new kind of renewable energy, that of tidal energy. IDETA participates in this project to bring its experience in the development of green energy production to the service of local communities. In parallel, this project also enriches IDETA with new partners and technologies useful to Picardy Wallonia.
As an EU flagship project (Horizon 2020 programme), EnFAIT (Enabling Future Arrays in Tidal), aims to secure the potential of tidal turbine arrays. With a budget of more than 20 million €, the project demonstrates the development, operation and dismantling of the world’s largest tidal turbine network (six turbines) over a five-year period. The aim is to determine a trajectory for reducing tidal energy costs and to prove that it can be competitive with other forms of renewable energy.
The project is led by Nova Innovation, the Scottish tidal energy developer, in partnership with nine European companies, including IDETA. The main objective of the partners is to ensure the operation of a tidal turbine park connected to the electricity grid to:
- Ensure a gradual evolution of the cost of tidal energy throughout its life cycle, in particular by using modelling software to optimize the positioning and configuration of turbines;
- Prove that by adopting good maintenance practices, we can achieve high reliability and availability of the fleet for the benefit of the electricity network;
- Establish a platform for the collection and exchange of know-how on the fundamental issues of tidal energy;
- Strengthen investor confidence;
- Take an important step towards creating a profitable commercial tidal energy sector.
Launched in July 2017, the project will end in June 2022.
As the economic player responsible for Picardy Wallonia, IDETA has placed the increase in renewable energy sources and the improvement of energy efficiency at the heart of its priorities, in order to succeed in the territory’s energy transition and significantly reduce CO2 emissions. The agency has included in its strategic plan its desire to initiate investments that bring value to Picardy Wallonia, so as to deploy on the territory a mix of renewable energies, guaranteeing a recurring and sustainable return on investment for the municipalities and their inhabitants.
IDETA began its collaboration with Nova Innovation in 2016 to deploy three tidal turbines off the Shetland Islands in the north of Scotland. With an investment of 1.8 million € (out of a total budget of 4.5 million €), IDETA began participating actively in an innovative project outside Picardy Wallonia in order to strengthen the renewable energy production capacity of the territory, which is and remains to date still below the demand for electricity. In addition, the partnership allows IDETA to guarantee dividend payments to its affiliated municipalities.
The EnFAIT project launched in 2017 enabled the partners to reduce costs and optimize the performance of tidal turbines. This collaboration has also enabled IDETA to identify new synergies with Nova Innovation and to set up new partnerships, such as the creation of CERWAL, which will ensure the optimisation of the new ZELDA Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) in IDETA’s economic activity parks in Picardy Wallonia.
Beyond the energy component, IDETA will analyse the socio-economic impact of the EnFAIT project on the local community living near the tidal turbine network. The objective is that the community can benefit in below sectors from the existence of this network:
- Employment, by contributing to the supply chain of products or services;
- Education, by including new subjects of learning and citizenship in schools;
- Energy, by consuming this green and local electricity.
The results of the socio-economic analysis can then be transposed to renewable energy projects in Picardy Wallonia.
- RTBF report (2016)
- Renouvelle.be: Belgium joins the European Marine Energy Laboratory (2019)
This project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 745862.