Karel Beckman, Energy Post -- Wave power at 7.5 cents/kWh? That’s what CorPower Ocean, a Swedish startup, is hoping to deliver with its new Wave Energy Converter (WEC). The technology for this new wave power device was invented by Dr. Stig Lundbäck, a medical doctor from Sweden who has spent his life studying the pumping principles of the human heart – and has used this knowledge to design a giant buoy that gently oscillates in resonance with the waves of the sea. The new device, which is now being futher developed together with Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, promises to be five times more efficient than competing technologies at a third of the cost.
It is one example of a cleantech startup that found a launching customer thanks to the intervention of KIC InnoEnergy, a company founded in 2010, and owned by 27 shareholders – a number of prominent European research institutes and universities as well as large European energy companies, including Total, Gas Natural Fenosa, EDF, ENBW, Vattenfall and ABB.
KIC InnoEnergy is one of three KICs (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) that were set up a few years ago with the support of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The others are Climate-KIC and EIT-ICT Labs. According to Elena Bou, Innovation Director at KIC InnoEnergy, who was involved with the company from the start, the KICs were spawned by the EU’s 2005 Lisbon Strategy – President Barroso’s attempt to foster innovation and kickstart “Silicon Valleys” in Europe.