Results from the INTERREG-MED projects MAESTRALE and PELAGOS showed that Blue Energy (BE) is rarely considered in energy strategies at national and regional level. The lack of clear rules and procedural tools for BE deployment, together with low potentials and early technology stage, induces decision makers to avoid any intervention, often preventing private companies from investing in such technologies. Nevertheless, pilot projects developed in MAESTRALE and the PELAGOS transnational cluster demonstrate that BE initiatives can be successfully planned in MED regions.
Blue Energy Deployment Alliance
Funding program:
Interreg MED
01/11/2019 – 30/06/2022
(32 Months)
2.34 milions of euro
Ecodynamics Group is lead partner (LP) of this project which includes other 12 partners from 7 countries in the MED area.

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General objectives

BLUE DEAL intends to pursue a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by supporting and promoting BE deployment.
Main challenges concern how to:
  • Improve the production of renewable energy from marine sources in different MED regions;
  • Promote BE development potential for a smart blue growth, also through the empowerment of public institutions and SMEs;
  • Strengthen the connection and cooperation between research, innovation policy and businesses (especially SMEs) by establishing local and transnational public-private BE deployment alliances, inclusive for citizens;
  • Identify opportunities and solutions for self-sufficiency of small communities, especially in islands through small scale solutions, also considering the linkage between energy independence and sustainability of seasonal tourist flows;
  • Ensure environmental, social, economic sustainability through specific assessments to ensure feasibility and long-term management of BE plants.

Studing approach

BLUE DEAL applies an innovative approach combining models and tools already developed and tested in previous projects. MAESTRALE (led by LP UNISI) delivered datasets on BE potentials and information on BE technologies and regulatory frameworks; the 20 feasibility studies obtained in 10 Blue Energy Labs opened the way to more systematic actions, and the ‘Toolkit for replicability’ provides instructions to perform BE design. PELAGOS (led by PP5-CRES) organised a MED Cluster composed by major stakeholders for BE innovation; it includes 450 members (304 SMEs, 90 HEIs, 33 PAs and 23 civil associations). The on-line platform hosts a web marketplace, including a BE market database; it permits to Cluster members to promote their activities and to identify business opportunities.
BLUE DEAL will organize Laboratories that will take place in numerous coastal cities in the regions participating in the project and they are designed as ‘living labs’ open to citizens, businesses, local administrations, and many other stakeholders to create a participatory planning process.

Social acceptability survey

As part of the BLUE DEAL project, a survey on perceptions and attitudes towards blue energy and technologies to harness it was developed for the general public. The survey aimed to analyze the opinion of the coastal area population on their perception of Blue Energy (BE), their knowledge of new renewable energy sources and new technologies for their deployment. The active participation of citizens in energy systems and energy transition is a crucial element for a proper BE planning. For this reason, the survey on the social acceptance of Blue Energy was carried out.
The survey was conducted in 9 regions of the Mediterranean basin through a questionnaire and more than 2000 interviews, prepared by the University of Siena. The questionnaire is common to all project partners to ensure a high degree of comparability of results. The interviews took place between late summer and early autumn 2020 (Cyprus: spring 2021), and the 9 sites involved were: Čiovo - Dalmatia (Croatia), Hersonissos - Crete (Greece), Durres (Albania), Kalkara and Xghajra (Malta), Larnaca (Cyprus), Salobreña - Andalusia (Spain), Pobla de Farnals - Comunidad Valenciana (Spain), Isola del Giglio - Tuscany (Italy), and Civitavecchia - Lazio (Italy).
The results of the survey helped and guided the development of other project activities, including public communication.
This study provided information on how BE technologies are perceived by the population in the countries/regions involved, and to what extent local communities are inclined to accept a possible installation of BE in their premises.
The survey has the potential to become a model to be replicated in other countries in order to have a better understanding of the perception of Blue Energy by the population in the Mediterranean area.

Visit AskYourSitizenOnBe to find out the survey results and analysis!

Project Partners

1 - UNISI (IT) - Lead Partners
2 - ENEA (IT)
3 - CEEI Valencia (ES)
4 - University of Zagreb, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture - UNIZAG FSB (HR)
5 - Dynamic Vision (GR)
6 - Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving – CRES (GR)
7 - Cyprus Energy Agency – CEA (CY)
8 - Andalusian Cluster of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency – CLANER (ES)
9 - National Agency of Natural Resources – AKBN (AL)
10 - INDACO2 (IT)
11 - Geoimaging limited (CY)
12 - U-Space España SL (ES)

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