The Netherlands has seven institutes that facilitate testing and demonstration of new marine energy technologies. In total, there are 24 different test facilities available. The Dutch test facilities can host technologies of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) of 1 up to 9. Most are suited to tidal stream and wave energy conversion systems. Several facilities are equipped to test tidal range, OTEC, salinity gradient and floating solar technologies as well.

Dutch Test Facilities

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is the largest technical university in the Netherlands and covers practically the entire spectrum of engineering sciences. They have top international rankings in Water and Offshore Energy research. In 2016 the Delft Energy Initiative (DEI) founded the Ocean Energy Platform, with the aim to bring together researchers across disciplines to share their knowledge and expertise in enhancing technology development. TU Delft has several facilities that can be used to test scaled wave and tidal stream technologies (TRLs 1 to 3), including a scaled wave- and stream flume, and a towing tank.

Deltares

Deltares, located in Delft, is a world-renowned, independent knowledge institute that conducts research related to water and (sub)soil. Their research projects focus on deltas, coastal regions and river basins. Deltares' test facilities include two flumes and four basins of various sizes for performance and survival tests. These facilities enable large- to medium-sized lab scale testing of wave, tidal stream and low head technologies (TRLs 3-6). Deltares develops numerical tools that can be used in the design and prototyping phases of development, including CFD, Comix, Delft3D (swan), Pharos and Oceanwave3.

Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN)

Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) is located in Wageningen. MARIN has considerable knowledge about the behaviour of vessels and structures at sea. This enables them to contribute to efficient and sustainable solutions for floating solar panels and energy generation from tidal flows, waves and temperature differences. MARIN’s facilities consist of a cavitation tunnel to simulate operations under low pressure, a deepwater towing tank for survival tests and five scale-size test basins for performance and installation tests (TRLs 3 to 6). Also enabling technologies, such as floating platforms and foundation systems can be tested. In addition, MARIN has access to numerical facilities that can be used in the early development stages of new technologies (TRLs 1 to 3).

NWO-NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

NWO-NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) is the national oceanographic institute based on the Wadden island of Texel and on the Easter Scheldt in Yerseke. Its research groups focus on estuarine and delta systems, coastal systems, ocean systems, and marine microbiology and biogeochemistry. In addition, NIOZ has national marine facilities including a fleet of research vessels. They also provide bottom and biological sampling equipment, and instruments for water column measurements, pressure testing, and performing fouling experiments. As a test facility for marine energy devices, NIOZ is particularly well equipped for component- and supporting technology testing. As such, they are capable of testing components of wave, tidal, OTEC and salinity gradient technologies (TRLs 1 to 9).

Tidal Technology Center Grevelingendam (TTC-GD)

Tidal Technology Center Grevelingendam (TTC-GD) is being built at the ‘Flakkeese Spuisluis‘ in the Grevelingendam. When completed in 2020/2021, this facility will provide developers of tidal energy technologies with the means to test, certify and showcase their products in fully operational tidal contexts. The centre will feature three test channels into which turbines, mills and their components may be tested, certified and demonstrated. The set-up is suited for monitoring the impact of tidal energy facilities on morphology, tidal flow patterns, environmental impact and a host of other variables. In addition, TTC-GD will purchase and operate four demonstration turbines that will serve as a tidal energy showcase.

University of Applied Sciences Zeeland (HZ)

University of Applied Sciences Zeeland (HZ) is a vocational university in the south of the Netherlands. They initiated the development of a Center of Expertise on Water & Energy to actively work together with a broad range of market parties and companies on new developments in the energy transition related to water. Their test facilities include a stream flume and wave tank suitable for scale model testing. The tank can simulate both waves and currents, enabling to provide proof of principle of technologies under simulated real-sea conditions (TRLs 1 to 4).

Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is an academic research institute focusing on several topics, including environment and climate change, and coastal and marine systems. Their facilities to test tidal energy technologies consist of a straight and tilting flume. These flumes are especially suited to small-scale prototypes (TRLs 1 to 3). WUR is also licensed to run tests with live animals, potentially enabling fish friendliness tests of tidal turbines.