The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC)
The Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) is involved in research projects related to energy efficiency, energy savings and renewable energies. IREC is based on the Sescelades Campus, in the setting of the Tarragona Science and Technology Park, and this is where its research projects in the areas of offshore wind power, bioenergy and biofuels take place. The institute also leads research projects into energy efficiency and has a second site in Barcelona.
A pioneering offshore wind power project
At the Tarragona site work is being done to set up an offshore wind power test platform to act as a test laboratory before this technology can come onto the market. The name of the project is Zefir (Zephyr). The platform, which is to be located away from the coast, will make it possible to develop a technology which reduces the visual impact of wind farms. This scheme is one of the most important in the world, and should lead to significant collaboration between research centres, international universities and companies in the industry.
More sustainable energy
Different lines of research are currently underway in the field of bioenergy and biofuels. One of these projects focuses on the thermal treatment of biomass and the other on biorefining, i.e. the extraction of a range of fractions with energy, medicinal or industrial uses.
In addition to these two lines of research, IREC is conducting research projects related to lighting, power electronics and electrical grids and thermal energy and building.