Civic monitoring report

Sent on 7/03/2024 | By Team SeawaveEnergyAlguer | @

What we found out

Project objectives

The objective of the "WAVES4WATER" project is to improve the energy and water supply system within the Porto Conte Park area, with specific reference to the needs of some operational structures of the park itself, such as those concerning the points of information, sighting, bird watching, refreshment, located in peripheral areas, little populated and difficult to reach, and of those of some companies, in particular agricultural ones, operating in the park area, through the implementation of a "pre-commercial procurement" for the creation of an innovative project aimed at the development of an integrated system of energy production from sea waves and sea water desalination made energetically self-sufficient through the use of the energy produced.

Foreseen activities

Expected start: 05/31/2021 Actual start: 05/31/2021
Estimated end: 10/10/2023 Actual end: 12/04/2023

The specific activity of the project is the development of a WEPA - Water Energy Point Absorber, and in particular the following sub-activities:
-Resource analysis at case study
-Review of existing technologies
-Concept definition
-Modelling and optimization
-Configuration identification
-Construction and installation
-Renewable energy autonomy

Project origin

The waves4water project was born through an act of direction of the board of directors, which mandates the management to participate in a public call for research in Sardinia under the POR FESR 14 20, action 1.3.1, line n° 1, i.e. that relating to the technological development and scientific research. Regarding the upstream administrative process:
an act of direction from the political body and a series of management acts which then led to the contractualisation of the economic operator, which in fact is a spin off of the Turin Polytechnic, i.e. the WAVES4ENERGY company through an open public tender procedure, to pursuant to article 60 of legislative decree 50 of 2016, i.e. the old contract code.
It is a co-planning, no one is excluded. In fact, all the public and private bodies in the area were involved.


The results expected from the project will be able to contribute to the energy and water supply of some operational structures within the naturalistic area of the Porto Conte Park, such as for example the information, sighting, bird watching and refreshment points, often located in places with little anthropized and difficult to reach, and of some businesses, particularly agricultural ones, operating in the Park area.The beneficiaries are the related companies of the Porto Conte Park; the website of the Porto Conte Regional Park contains a list of 13 farms impacted by the project.


The Porto Conte Park, as part of its own energy production strategy from renewable sources, both to cover its direct consumption needs and to power the various activities that exist within a protected natural area, intends to focus on the potential offered by smart and low-cost wave energy generation systems. At the same time, the challenge of this project is to combine these technologies with those of desalination to help overcome the critical issues resulting from long periods of drought, particularly in the summer season, which penalize the agricultural production system carried out in the area adjacent to that of the Park and to which the Park recognizes and grants a specific brand of environmental sustainability and quality. There are two needs that the Porto Conte Park, in collaboration with the Marine Protected Area of Capo Caccia Isola Piana, intends to satisfy: that of electricity generation from a source such as wave motion which is currently unexploited; that of combining this technology with that of desalination to play a supporting role in water and energy supply policies in favor of:
a) of structures located in very isolated contexts and/or in delicate environments to be safeguarded and without any supply, as often happens in protected natural areas;
b) the quality agricultural system of its territory.
It involves investing in the preparation and offering of innovative technological systems at the right production scale to offer energy and water products and services not available on the local market.


The WEPA device is functional, but is currently not grounded as it requires the same amount of funds that were used to create the machine; it is still in the experimental phase so the energy it produces is not used. The first phase of the trial lasted 6 months, from July to December, and although the results were satisfactory, to have a clearer idea of ​​the success of the trial, it was deemed necessary to monitor the device until April 2024. Thanks to the duration of the 12 months of monitoring, at the end of the year it will be possible to have an idea of ​​the annual production of the device. We received this information thanks to an interview with Doctor Sinis, sole manager of the project, during the monitoring visit to the Porto Conte Park.


The design phase took effect from the signing of the contract on 05.31.2021, until the transmission of the project on 03.09.2022. Then we moved on to the creation of the prototype in the Turin laboratory and it was positioned in the sea and put into operation for the first time on 26 June 2023. The official testing phase of the Waves4Water project ended on 04.12.2023. The Porto Conte Park has independently decided to continue the experimentation phase with its own ordinary funds to obtain further data also in the period from January to April 2024. We received this information thanks to a meeting with Doctor Sinis, sole manager of the project.


What we didn't like about the project is that the ideas are promising but those who allocate the funds are not clear about the actual monetary need.
A negative aspect that we encountered was undoubtedly the limited budget, which allowed only part of the initially planned activities to be carried out and was not sufficient to carry out important parts of the project, such as, for example, connecting the device to the terrestrial electricity network .


What we liked most was discovering that the idea of ​​finding solutions to produce renewable energy is also emerging from the smallest realities, these choices are aimed at protecting the world in which the new generations will live.
Strengths and positive aspects of the "Waves4Water" project include:

1. Environmental Sustainability: The project aims to contribute to the self-production of energy from renewable sources thanks to wave motion, promoting the environmental sustainability of the Porto Conte Park and local businesses.

2. Response to Climate Change: Address the effects of climate change, such as rising temperatures, drought and water scarcity, making the territorial system and businesses more resilient.

3. Integration of Advanced Technologies: Combines the generation of energy from sea waves with desalination, offering an innovative solution to overcome the critical issues linked to periods of drought, supporting both isolated structures and the agricultural sector.

4. Benefits for Isolated Structures: The project offers energy and water to peripheral and hard-to-reach structures, improving operating conditions, for example, for information, sighting, bird watching and refreshment points within the Park.

5. Satisfaction of Energy and Water Requirements: Addresses the needs of the Porto Conte Park, contributing to the production of energy from renewable sources and addressing the challenges of desalination to support agricultural activities and isolated structures.

6. Expected Results: The expected results indicate a reduction in dependence on conventional sources, an increase in the production of renewable energy, the improvement of the use of the Park in areas currently not served and the maintenance of the competitiveness of the production sector.

These points highlight the positive contribution of the project on an environmental, social and economic level.


The lack of funds to carry it forward, and the park's abandonment of the project itself. Problems could arise if in the future the project does not adequately take into account, as it has done so far, the environmental impact, and this would cause damage to the area and ecosystems in which the device operates.

Ideas and solutions

The actions or conditions that could increase the effectiveness of the monitored project are the increase in allocated funds.
And also greater involvement, in all phases of the project, of the potentially beneficiary subjects, therefore the economic activities of the area (businesses, farms, agritourisms, etc.), and also the citizens.

Results and Impact of the monitoring

Dissemination of results

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Territorial events organised by the teams
  • Team blog / website
  • Flyers or other off-line methods (non-Internet)
  • Media interviews


  • Sindaco, Città di Alghero
  • Amici di ASOC, Associazione Sardegna 2050
  • Amici di ASOC, Associazione Sardegna 2050
  • Funzionario, Regione Sardegna
  • Responsabile servizi affari generali, Azienda speciale Parco di Prto Conte
  • Funzionario, ISTAT
  • Funzionario, ISTAT
  • Design engineer, Waves4energy Politecnico di Torino
  • Funzionario, Regione Sardegna

Contacts with media outlets

  • Local TV
  • Local newspapers

Contatti con le Pubbliche Amministrazioni per discutere i risultati del Monitoraggio

  • Generic answer

Description of the case

Our initial civic monitoring would lead us to conclude that there is no impact as it is a prototype in the testing phase, but the fact that we have made it known throughout the territory and also to local and regional political forces has overturned this conclusion. Our analysis, dissemination via social media, web, podcasts and videoconferencing has fostered the interest of local entities. By interviewing the Project Manager (RUP) of the project, the referent of the Porto Conte Park, and engineer Rava who designed and developed the prototype, we realized that the fact that we were monitoring this project made them reflect even more on the possible ways and funding to ensure a follow-up and economic sustainability over time. All this, together with the promising results, could lead to an interest in the large-scale production of the model. We could power all the businesses in the park's supply chain, such as farmhouses, dairy farms, oil and wine mills, and conservation facilities, in green ways. It is not negligible to have the possibility of a high quantity of desalinated water at a negligible cost as a reserve also for the city of Alghero and the neighboring villages.

Investigation method

How was the information collected?

  • Web research
  • Visit to the project's location, documented by pictures or videos
  • Interview with the Managing Authority of the Programme which financed the project
  • Interview with people responsible for the project's implementation
  • Interview with political leaders

Dr. Marianna Carboni and Dr. Raffaella Sanna of the Sardegna 2050 Association, which is part of the "Friends of ASOC", helped us with the reports and above all with the organization of the interviews. Dr. Antonello Chessa from the Europe Direct “Regione Sardegna” center in Cagliari helped us better understand the sources of financing. Dr. Pasquale Sinis, responsible for the special company of the Porto Conte Park, and Mario Conoci, Mayor of Alghero, answered many of our questions in interviews. Dr. Daniela Vacca and Dr. Paolo Misso from ISTAT helped us understand which data sources could be useful for data journalism and infographics. Marcello Rava, design engineer of the Waves for Energy company that created the device, explained to us how the WEPA machine works.

Main questions

“Do you think it will offer new job opportunities? If so, which categories will be involved?”
“What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of this project?”
These questions were addressed to Dr. Pasquale Sinis of the special company of the Porto Conte Park and Sole Manager of the Project.

Main answers

“This is a research project that wanted to verify whether WEPA technology could be expanded and developed through a system functional to the community and above all to the operators who operate within the Porto Conte park area. [...] So we asked ourselves what can be done to reproduce the project on a large scale, greater funds are certainly needed and through the technicians we estimated that adequate funding could be from 1,800,000 to 2,000,000.”

“The project certainly has a strong perspective from now to the next few years. Thanks to this system it will be possible to produce electricity from wave motion. From 2019 to today, operators, buyers and other subjects are channeling themselves into this system of new and innovative technology, so there could be important consequences for the community and for those who work within the naturalistic area.”