11 March 2024:

MARINERG-i shapes the future of offshore renewable energy testing facilities in Europe

The world is facing a significant shift in all aspects of energy supply and the vast potential of offshore renewable energy is gradually being realised with the support of projects such as MARINERG-i. This will be an Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Distributed Research Infrastructure (DRI). With a network of world-class testing facilities spread across Europe, MARINERG-i is setting out to become the leading DRI in the ORE sector globally.

MARINERG-i will provide significant support to the EU Green Deal, strengthening European scientific and engineering expertise and fostering innovation in ORE technologies. By consolidating investment in infrastructure, MARINERG-i will provide best-value for money. It will ensure the best quality service by harmonising methodologies and processes across facilities, providing clarity and confidence in testing results for investors and policymakers. Ultimately the goal is to help accelerate innovation in ORE and discern the leading technologies.

Dr. Jimmy Murphy, Project Coordinator UCC: "A more streamlined, higher-quality service will enable newer technologies either to fail and disappear or to progress towards commercialisation."

Ewa Spiesz PhD, Senior Energy Sustainability Advisor DMEC: "Forming a pan-European collaborative distributed research infrastructure for offshore renewable energy testing will help streamline the development of the sector as a whole. DMEC is excited to lead the Dutch efforts in the program, as well as the business side of the distributed infrastructure development."

MARINERG-i is one of 11 new Research Infrastructures to be added to the ESFRI 2021 roadmap. This identifies and provides support for the best European science facilities that are of strategic importance according to the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Led by University College Cork, MARINERG-i is currently supported by Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with considerable support from facilities within France, Italy, Norway and Germany.

Participating research infrastructures have already worked together providing testing programmes to developers for over a decade e.g. on the EU funded MaRINET and MaRINET2 projects. MARINERG-i’s positioning on the ESFRI roadmap will enable the network to establish a permanent structure with country membership fees and providing a range of professional services, reducing the reliance on irregular sources of funding.

The team are now embarking on a Preparatory Phase, where work will be funded by an almost € 3 million Horizon Europe project – MARINERG-i_PP which commenced in December 2023. This project will establish the legal, governance, scientific and business components required to set up a dedicated coordinating entity known as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), ready to implement MARINERG-i DRI services.

Consortium partners

The project is made possible via a collaboration of its partners: University College Cork, Ifremer, Centrale Nantes, Université Gustave Eiffel, MARIS B.V., Bird & Bird, WavEC Offshore Renewables, Plataforma Oceánica de Canarias (PLOCAN), Ocean Energy Europe, SINTEF, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, EMEC: European Marine Energy Centre, University of Strathclyde, University of Galway, UGent and DMEC (Dutch Marine Energy Centre).

More information

For more information on the MARINERG-i project, please contact Ewa Spiesz and visit the website of MARINERG-i.