On the 29th of June 2022, the Blue Growth Community along with the BLUE DEAL modular project organised an online transfer training event to share the BLUE DEAL tools and its commitment paper with interested Mediterranean regions and port authorities. This event was the follow up of the transfer training event organised in 2021 to present the first results of the BLUE DEAL project. BLUE DEAL officially ends tomorrow, on the 30th of June, and it was therefore a good time to capitalise on all the results developed by this project dealing with Marine Renewable Energy. Stakeholders from Attica region, Lazio region and Piraeus Port Authority participated in this training specifically targeting public authorities.

Mr. Emmanuel Maniscalco from CPMR and Ms. Vera Bougiouri from NTUA facilitated this event, while Ms. Nicoletta Patrizi from the University of Sienna (BLUE DEAL’s lead partner) and Ms. Katerina Sfakianaki from the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving - CRES (BLUE DEAL’s capitalisation coordinator) presented the results of their project.

BLUE DEAL project’s main goal was to promote Blue Energy and to increase the knowledge around it, offering some tools to support public authorities to plan Blue Energy projects and help them build their renewable energy strategies.

One of the challenges of the BLUE DEAL project was to answer the questions: “Are there enough sources of energies in the Mediterranean? If yes, where do they come from?”. Answering these questions and untapping the unexploited potential of blue renewable energies required to gather a great diversity of stakeholders from the 4helix. In her presentation, Ms. Patrizi explained how BLUE DEAL implemented a series of solutions dedicated to bringing together all stakeholders’ viewpoints through laboratories, survey for citizens, school contests for students, an Open Innovation Challenge for the private sector and the BLUE DEAL Alliances.

Ms. Sfakianaki further presented the BLUE DEAL main capitalisation tools in the second part of the transfer training. Ms. Sfakianaki first presented the Blue Energy legislative framework looking at the level of development of blue energies in the 6 project’s countries and the Joint Plan for Portability. This Joint Plan is an 8-step methodology made for public authorities who want to embed Blue Energy projects into their national or regional energy policies. Last, Ms. Sfakianaki talked about the Transnational BLUE DEAL Alliance, a platform based on the Joint Portability plan to help public authorities to operate preliminary feasibility checks of their Blue Energy projects thanks to a large set of data.

The BLUE DEAL project’s team has called all interested actors to contribute to this Transnational Alliance to share experiences and discover best practices in the field of Blue Energy. “The alliance, first of all, is a network where we can share knowledge, questions and answers. It has members of all categories from the 4helix group (universities, companies active in the field of Blue Energy, regional authorities). This alliance gives the possibility for cooperation”, said Ms. Sfakianaki. To fully participate to the alliance and be informed about the development of Blue Energy, regions were also encouraged to sign the BLUE DEAL commitment paper to show their support.

The training continued with an interesting discussion between the BLUE DEAL project’s partners and the representative of Piraeus Port Authority, Mr. Dimitris Spyrou. Working for the first -in number of passengers- port in Europe, Mr. Spyrou raised some challenges specific to ports who must deal with busy ship routes. Ms. Sfakianaki reminded that ports are key actors to unlock the Blue Energy potential although they are highly challenging areas. Ports may not be able to set up wind turbines, but they have the opportunity to start with implementing small Blue Energy projects near the sea (e.g., photovoltaic panels, electricity stations) or underwater. Ms. Patrizi also provided a valuable insight into the possibilities offered to ports through some examples, as the solutions implemented in the port of Valencia (Spain) and the wave energy converter solution integrated into the breakwater of Citta Vecchia (Italy). Ms. Patrizi remarked that ports play a very important role towards decarbonisation, as they are very energy demanding. Some interesting solutions for ports can also be found in the results of the testing laboratory organized by the BLUE DEAL project for the Port of Durres, in Albania, as well as in the Open Innovation offered solutions to the Blue Energy challenges proposed by the port of San Felice Circeo, the port of the city of Samos, the port of Saranda, the marina of Pescara, etc.

The meeting ended on a promising note from Mr. Spyrou who mentioned the decision of the port authority of Piraeus to implement a master plan to green the activities of the port using alternative fuels and a network providing electricity to ships in order to fulfil the requirements of the EU’s Fit for 55 initiative. Mr. Spyrou also mentioned the interest of the port of Piraeus to join the BLUE DEAL Transnational Alliance.

The Blue Growth Community sincerely thanked the BLUE DEAL partners for their hard work and the present stakeholders who showed their interest in supporting the development of Blue Energy.