University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 8696-8702
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0891
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The University of the Basque Country ( is the most important University in the Autonomous Region of the Basque Country, Spain. There is one degree in Renewable Energy Engineering given at the Gipuzkoa Faculty of Engineering (Eibar). In the last year of their studies, they can select one subject on Ocean Energy.

In this subject, state-of-the-art operation and management techniques are taught to the students. Apart from the transmission of this knowlegde, the focus is practical and is based on hands-on computer real-life exercises, which involves not only intensive programming using a high-level software, but also the spatial representation of results.

This is important because currently two major research and development lines can be identified as far as ocean energy is concerned. The first one is the analysis of prototypes that in the future will extensively extract electricity from wave farms.

The second one is related to the resource itself, which implies the analysis and characterization of some ocean variables related to the extraction of energy. In many cases, the raw information on some oceanic variables of interest is available from institutions like the ECMWF However a very extensive phase of data preprocessing is needed to extract useful information on wave energy potential. This will be an important task for future engineers involved in the spatial planning of oceanic energy facilities and in real-time forecasting and control of electricity obtained at wave farms. For this reason, students need to effectively learn to do all these tasks.
R ( is a freely available software that provides an optimum answer to these combined needs and teaching challenges due to its modular structure. R has a core module and nearly 8000 packages specifically developed for different purposes are also available. Packages like “RNetCDF”, “sp” “rgeos”, “rgdal”, “maps”, “maptools” and “mapdata” have been developed to make R work with full functionalities just like any high-level programming software.

Incorporating R into the teaching activities of the subject “Ocean Energy” has represented an important step forward in the education of future engineers while providing them with real-life tools for their future jobs in wave farms .