Renew On Line (UK) 52

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 152 Nov-Dec 2004

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. £50m for wave and tidal

2. Renewables over 5%

3. North Sea -CO2 sink?

4. Biofuels push

5. Solar Worries

6. Deep sea wind

7. The Wind debate : New anti-wind lobby

8. Policy Developments  New Planning Guide

9. Regional Developments: NW, NE, Scotland

10. World Developments : US, China, EU

11. Nuclear News: Nuclear  Economics

1. £50m more for wave and tidal power

A £50 million ‘Marine Research Development Fund’  to help ensure the UK is a world leader in harnessing wave and tidal current power was announced in August by Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, who said that ‘the UK’s wave and tidal flows are the greatest in Europe and I want to ensure we harness these immense natural resources to generate power for the UK’.  The DTI said that the fund will ‘support innovate and visionary businesses throughout the UK who can take first class research and development and bring it to market’.

The Government already supports work on wave and tidal current projects via its capital grant and R&D programmes. Wave and Tidal projects can also benefit from the Renewables Obligation.

The news of the new fund coincided with the release of a study from the Scottish Executive’s Forum for Renewable Energy Development in Scotland on Marine Energy,  which set out an action plan to:

  • accelerate the commercial deployment of marine energy devices in Scotland;
  • maximise the contribution from marine energy to Scotland’s energy mix by 2020; and
  • develop a sustainable manufacturing base for marine energy technologies in Scotland.

Work on the precise mechanism for development of wave and tidal stream is underway with the Scottish Executive, Carbon Trust and other stakeholders. Lewis Macdonald, Scottish Deputy Minister for Enterprise said: “I am delighted that the DTI has responded so positively to the need to support our emerging marine energy sector,” while Tom Delay, Carbon Trust CEO, said: “This is excellent news and a significant boost to the UK marine sector. The Carbon Trust is already working with the leading wave and tidal stream companies through our Marine Energy Challenge to accelerate the development of these technologies. With the DTI and the Scottish Executive we are supporting the world’s first marine test centre in Orkney. The next step is to make the UK a global centre of excellence and we look forward to working with the Government and the Scottish Executive to make this a reality.”

* One of the candidates for funding is  Lunar Energy  which is seeking to raise £7m to install a 2MW demonstration tidal scheme at the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney.  The turbine was developed and built by Rotech, the Aberdeen offshore oil industry engineering and technology company.   The 1,200 tonne device requires no sub-sea construction but simply sits on the sea bed at least 10 metres below the surface, so it cannot be seen from above the water.

Meanwhile, the Wave Hub planned for installation around 9 miles off the north coast of Cornwall could be in place by 2006. It aims to provide a power take off service for wave projects, to avoid each one having to make costly separate grid links to shore. Feasibility studies are underway- the SW Regional Development Agency has committed almost £0.5m .

Wave feeds grid

Ocean Power Delivery’s Pelamis 750MW wave energy converter was  installed at the newly opened European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney in August and fed power the the UK grid.  Andrew Mill, Emec’s managing director, told the Guardian ‘It was extremely satisfying to witness the closing of the circuit breaker seeing the meters register the first electric power flowing into the UK grid from an offshore wave powered renewable energy device’. (Wavegens 500kW Limpet on the Isle of Islay is an onshore device) OPD’s  longer term plan is to have 40 machines together in a wave farm occupying a square kilometre of sea

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