MAESTRALE: Introducing Blue Energy in the Mediterranean

MAESTRALE: Introducing blue energy in the Mediterranean

Despite the growing interest and the number of existing studies and applications in the field of blue energy both in Europe and globally, there is a lack of initiatives and operational plans in the Mediterranean. Funded under Interreg MED 2014-2020 – Priority Axis 1 (Innovation), MAESTRALE aims to fill this gap.

Eleven partners for eight Mediterranean countries, with the School of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki representing Greece, are working together to identify growth prospects for blue energy, taking into account the natural, legal, technological, economic and social context. Issues to be addressed include environmental sustainability, technological innovation, social acceptance and potential conflicts with marine ecosystems.

General information about the program

The main objective of MAESTRALE is to lay the foundations for a strategy for the development of blue energy in the Mediterranean. Starting with the research and identification of existing and innovative technologies, as well as of the barriers and prospects in the participating countries, MAESTRALE aims at widening the exchange of knowledge among scientists, policy makers, entrepreneurs and citizens, and at promoting actions and investments in blue growth.

The main contribution of the project consists in the creation of Blue Energy Labs (BELs) in each of the participating regions. BELs will include local businesses, public authorities, knowledge-related institutions and citizens, and will actively support future policies in relation to blue energy, as well as the development of robust strategies for blue growth. A series of pilot projects will seek to raise awareness among local stakeholders, facilitate social acceptance, reduce uncertainty and enhance the sustainability of the initiatives.

Project objectives

MAESTRALE’s overall objective is to promote the development of blue energy in the Mediterranean as a key area for sustainable growth through the creation and international networking of innovative clusters. More specifically, it aims to create the right conditions for the exploitation of renewable energy in the marine environment, without overlooking the environmental and cultural values of the region.

MAESTRALE’s specific objectives are:

  1. Knowledge Transfer – It comprises the comprehensive and extensive research of legislation, existing and innovative technologies, best practices, and prospects, as well as potential barriers for blue energy in the Mediterranean.
  2. Blue Energy Labs (BELs) – MAESTRALE will set up a network of BELs, which will act as a collaborative platform for key actors in the blue energy sector in the Mediterranean. A BEL will be set up in each area represented in the program in order to support the creation of public-private partnerships, to ensure the exchange of knowledge and innovation and to lay the foundations for initiatives in the field of blue growth.
  3. Pilot projects – Each BEL will develop two or more pilot projects for blue power plants. Pilot projects will act as prototypes / examples for innovative start-up businesses.

Funding and partners

MAESTRALE is funded under Interreg MED 2014-2020 – Priority Axis 1 (Innovation). The implementation period is 1/11/2016 to 31/10/2019. The project partners are:

UNISI Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy

CEEI Centro Europeo de Empresas e Innovación de Valencia, Spain

IRENA Istrian Regional Energy Agency L.t.d., Croatia

CTAER Centro Tecnológico Avanzado de Energías Renovables, Spain

AUTH Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

GOLEA Goriška Local Energy Agency, Nova Gorica, Slovenia

OC-UCY Oceanography Center, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

INFORMEST Italy

UALG Universidade do Algarve, Portugal

MIEMA MCAST-MIEMA Joint Research Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Environmental Sustainability – Malta Intelligent Energy Management Agency, Malta

FVG Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy