In a highly anticipated event in Gothenburg, Sweden, international offshore clusters (AREG, Cluster de Energia, Energy Innovation Cluster, Blue Cluster and OffshoreVäst) met on May 21st to discuss potential European supply chains and projects within the blue energy sector. Hosted by OffshoreVäst, the seminar day highlighted several innovative alternatives such as SeaTwirl’s offshore wind prototype, Minesto’s Deep Green kite and several different material solutions presented by the likes of SSAB (steel) and Hydro Extrusions Sweden AB (aluminum).

Additional presentations were made by ABB, DNV GL, Sigma Marine and Energy as well as Innovation Norway. ABB gave an overview of challenges and solutions to distribute the energy from offshore. There is an obvious break-even distance to choose between HVAC and HVDC systems. When it comes to the value chain of blue energy, a clear link is development and DNV GL together with Sigma Marine and Energy gave concrete examples on how the support from their organizations can strengthen the supply chain. Innovation Norway ended the seminar by presenting an overall picture of blue initiatives and clusters in Norway. There is clearly a great potential for future collaboration and common development of blue energy value chains there.

The event in Gothenburg also included a matchmaking session hosted and organised by EEN (enterprise europe network) and company visits to SSPA, MMT and Minesto. The first visit at MMT allowed participants to get a glimpse of the latest technology for seabed survey, enabling photogrammetric visualization in 3D. This was followed by a stop at the marine energy technology developer Minesto. They presented their technology and highlighted different ways to raise funds both public and private. The visit to SSPA was made on the following day and offered an opportunity to see the test facilities. A point was made regarding the possibility of early testing and verification of products and prototypes, reducing the lead time for several different projects.

As the event marked the third workshop of the ELBE (Europe Leading Blue Energy) project, a lot of discussions focused on the future in regard to possible blue energy projects and continued collaboration between the European clusters. The consortia is now planning for the next phase which will welcome additional European clusters to join the collaboration.

Erik Bunis, RISE, who is in charge of the OffshoreVäst cluster summarized the day by saying:

– I am very pleased with the outcome of this event. Great presence from the entire value chain which laid the foundation of successful dialogues and meetings, especially in the B2B session. I am also very thankful for the company visits which was clearly appreciated by the participants and highlighted the strength of some of Sweden’s leading companies in the blue energy sector. I am looking forward to continued collaboration and discussions between European clusters and hopefully this is just the start.