•    More than 600 delegates, international experts and top companies will be at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre from 6th to 8th October
•    As part of Wave Week, there will be a surfing “Expression Session” at Sopelana, which will act as a meeting point for technologists and surfers to share ideas and reflections about the sea and its energy.
•    The sea has vast potential for generating electricity, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating a powerful new industry.
•    The Basque Country is leading the way with some pioneering initiatives and is home to some of the leading companies in capturing energy from the sea.

Bilbao, 30 September 2010.- The world's leading experts in marine energy and all the top companies in developing this renewable resource will be in Bilbao from 6 to 8 October, attending the International Conference on Ocean Energy, ICOE 2010, the world's largest ocean energy event. The marine resource offers vast medium and long-term potential in terms of generating electricity, cutting CO2 emissions and forming a powerful new industry. To coincide with this scientific event, the Basque Energy Agency, Ente Vasco de la Energía, is sponsoring a surf “Expression Session” at Sopelana, which will act as a meeting point for technologists, surfers and other lovers of the sport where they can share ideas and reflections on sea and its energy and the uses we can make of it.

The third International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) is being held in the Basque Country, a region that is home to some exciting pioneering initiatives with companies leading projects for harnessing energy from the sea. It is being run by the Basque energy agency, Ente Vasco de la Energía and the technological corporation TECNALIA, with Iberdrola as the main sponsor. The event also enjoys support from other Basque companies such as Ormazabal, Vicinay, Sener and Ingeteam, and collaboration from organisations such as the Basque Energy Cluster and the European Ocean Energy Association (Eu-OEA).

The conference at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre (BEC) will be attended by over 600 delegates from Europe, the US, Canada, Japan, Korea, China, New Zealand and elsewhere.

Leading figures in the sector, such as John Huckerby, chair of the International Energy Agency’s ocean energy committee and Alla Weinstein, chair of the European Ocean Energy Association have confirmed that they will be in attendance, alongside some of the world's top companies such as French multinational Alstom, the leading European shipbuilder DCNS, power utilities such as EDF, Iberdrola and the Norwegian Statkraft, Europe's largest producer of renewable energy.

The event has been divided into five plenary sessions and 18 parallel sessions, which will include 90 papers to be given by world experts in marine energy. Paralleling the conference, there will be an exhibition where all the top participants will have stands, demonstrating the latest technologies in harnessing energy from the sea. The goal is to foster the establishment of collaboration networks between companies and R&D centres, with a view to launching a powerful new industrial sector.

The choice of Bilbao to host ICOE 2010 underlines the importance of the initiatives in the area of marine energy being developed in the Basque Country. Specifically, two projects have been launched in Mutriku (Gipuzkoa) and Armintza (Lemoiz, Bizkaia) through public initiative by way of EVE.

The Mutriku facility in the province of Gipuzkoa, which is now at the final phases of installation, will generate energy from the waves breaking on the new outer breakwater and will use a technology known as OWC (oscillating water column system). The installation will generate enough electricity to supply the needs of 600 people.

The BIMEP platform in Armintza (Bizkaia) is intended to be a world reference in testing and researching offshore energy devices. There will be a submarine cable allowing the energy generated by the various marine prototypes and installations installed by developers in the sea off the port of Armintza. The project will include a research centre, making this small village in the municipal area of Lemoiz a reference point on the world marine energy map.



Parallel activities and surfing
As well as the presentations and the exhibition, ICOE 2010 will also include a series of parallel activities, such as workshops and social events. These will include a symposium dedicated to Waveplam, a European project coordinated by EVE intended to develop tools, establish methodologies and standards, and create the conditions for accelerating the introduction of marine energy on the European renewables market.

During the symposium, delegates will be taken to Sopelana Beach, where they will attend a surfing exhibition and share ideas and expertise on new wave and tide-based energy sources with the surfers.

As part of these parallel activities, the Ente Vasco de la Energía is also sponsoring  the “Punta Galea EVE Surfing Challenge 2010-2011”. This is the fifth edition of a competition that is held against the spectacular backdrop of 200-foot (60-metre) cliffs, in an area that is difficult to access but which can provide very large, long waves, and offers ideal visibility for spectators. There will be €8,000 in prize money and 16 specially invited surfers, who will take each other on in a single four-hour session on a date still to be determined, between 1 October 2010 and 1 March 2011. The final competition date will be decided by the contest director whenever sea conditions and wave size are considered to be optimal.

MARINE ENERGY IN FIGURES

•    Marine (or ocean) energy is a safe, inexhaustible and 100% predictable source of energy, which will play a crucial role in meeting growing energy demand and the need to reduce CO2 emissions, with a huge potential in Europe and elsewhere in the world
•    Marine resources include waves, tides (flow and gradient), sea currents, temperature gradients and salt gradients
•    In 2050, power production from marine energy could be as high as 645 TWh, equivalent to 100 nuclear power stations
•    Europe has vast potential for marine energy, and is in a condition to achieve 3.6 GW of installed capacity in 2020, and nearly 188 GW in 2050, creating 26,000 jobs directly and a further 14,000 indirectly by 2020, and 314,000 and 157,000 respectively in 2050
•    Savings in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, and 136 million tonnes in 2050
•    Investment is estimated at 8.5 billion euros in 2020, and 451 billion in 2050
•    Marine energy brings economic innovation and development. Fast technological evolution is laying the foundations of an emerging industry in Europe
•    Joint public and private initiatives are essential for developing the marine energy industry in Europe



More information

ICOE 2010 Press Office
Ana Larizgoitia, mobile/cell: +34 656 788 328   larizgoitia@lvcomunicacion.com
Josu Villamandos, mobile/cell: +34 651 704 445  josu@lvcomunicacion.com
Imanol Zenborain:  Mobile/cell: +34 638 458 042  izenborain@eve.es