The First Step Towards Lecturing of Ocean Energy at PPRE/EUREC

The First Step Towards Lecturing of Ocean Energy at PPRE/EUREC

The First Step Towards Lecturing of Ocean Energy at PPRE/EUREC (Oldenburg University)

by Polina Vasilenko, Russia (EUREC 2016/2017)

The oceans contain 97% of the earth’s water. 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by seawater. Approximately 3 billion people live within 200 km of the coast and migration is likely to cause this number to double by 2025. Ocean energy resources offer ready potential for delivery of power, electricity, heating and cooling, drinking water and other products to coastal and global markets at competitive prices. Utilization of ocean energy resources by a developed technology will contribute to the world’s future sustainable energy supply, create new jobs, reduce dependence of fossil fuels and decrease the world energy sector’s carbon emissions [1].

Nowadays, only a few ocean energy companies achieve TRL 7 (Technology Readiness Level, scale from 0 to 9) and can be strong competitors in the global electricity market, the ocean energy technologies still need strong theoretical, analytical and practical specialists, who will help to bring the ocean energy sector to the high level of professionalism.

The core program of PPRE/EUREC is mainly focused on solar, wind, conventional hydropower and bio energy sectors and ocean energy is not included in the program yet.

In general, according to Hannon et. al (2016) ocean energy sector consists of:

· Wave Energy (Waves are generated when the wind blows over the ocean’s surface, which itself is a function of temperature and pressure differences across the globe caused by the distribution of solar energy).

· Tidal stream energy (Oceanic tides are the function of the motion of the moon and sun relative to the earth. These gravitational forces in combination with the rotation of the earth on its axis cause periodic movements of the oceans and seas).

· Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature difference between cooler deep and warmer shallow or surface seawaters to run a heat engine and produce useful work (drive an electrical turbine) [2].

I am undertaking (June 2017 – December 2017) my master thesis with Wello Ltd. in Finland ( When it was decided to have a face-to-face meeting with the Oldenburg thesis supervisor Hans Holtorf, the best choice seemed to be to meet at the European Marine Energy Centre EMEC ( on the Orkney Islands. This is where Wello’s wave energy converter - Penguin - is being tested since 2012. Currently, the Penguin is the most advanced, proofed survivable with long experience in the full scale and grid connected technology.

Wello Ltd. was most supportive and a one week’s journey was arranged from September 18th to September 22nd, 2017 in Stromness. With the help of David Cousins (Wello’s operations and maintenance manager at the site) a spectacular and informative schedule was set up and carried out (Figure 1). Meetings with company representatives, inspections of tidal and wave energy converters on shore and in operation offshore as well as sightseeing of fascinating nature and historical monuments were included.

The lessons learned will be included in the lecture “Hydro Power” from next winter semester onwards. Hans, responsible for those lectures, would like to pass on his special thanks for this unique opportunity and the deep insights in to tidal and wave energy to all the persons involved.

From left to right: David Cousins, Polina Vasilenko, Hans Holtorf at Wello’s wave energy converter “Penguin” (Photo credit: Polina Vasilenko)

[1] J. Huckerby, H. Jeffrey, and B. Jay, "An international vision for ocean energy," Ocean Energy Systems; IEA Energy Technology at Work 2011.

[2] M. Hannon, J. Griffiths, A. Vantouch-Wood, M. Carcas, S. Bradley, R. Boud, et al., "World Energy Resources - Marine Energy 2016," World Energy Council 2016.


(Changed: 2020-01-23)