Direct generation competition projects announced

Five projects awarded funding to design new class of wave energy converters

Following an intensive evaluation process of the designs submitted for the Direct Generation Concept Creation Competition, five innovative projects have been selected.

These projects will progress their design concepts for flexible wave energy converters (WECs) based on optimal exploitation of electrostatic power conversion technologies, primarily Dielectric Elastomer Generators (DEGs) and Dielectric Fluid Generators (DFGs). These energy harvesting technologies have the characteristic of being able to directly transform movement (stretching, twisting, bending) of a material, into electrical energy. This offers opportunities for significant cost reduction of WEC technologies. 

The five successful projects progressing to the next phase are (subject to contract):

  • 4c Engineering
  • AWS Ocean Energy
  • Southampton and UTC
  • WaveX
  • TTI Renewables

The projects, each expected to last 12-14 weeks, will share a budget of £250,000 to develop their design concepts, with final pitches being delivered in early 2024. Two projects may then be selected in the final phase to progress to a funded full technology development programme.

Jonathan Hodges, Innovation and Strategy Manager said:

“Identifying the five best proposals from an impressive cohort of applications is an exciting kick-start to a new generation of wave energy converters.

“WES is investing in a strategy to support the development of direct generation wave technology, through a mix of innovation funding, collaborative R&D activity, cross-sector collaboration and sector coordination, and we are excited to see how the awarded teams help propel this ambition further.”


Find more detail on each of the successful projects here.