Renew On Line (UK) 55

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 155 May-June2005

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1. £42m for Wave & Tidal

2.NAO on the Renewable Obligation

3. Carbon Storage gets a look in

4.‘Tidal lagoons OK’

5. Renewables hit by new tax…and the Guardian!

6. RPA’s Green Energy Manifesto

7. Renewable Energy Bill - Green Heat

8. Climate gets worse: IPPR want 40% cut by 2020

9. UK Renewables round up : wind, geothermal, biomass

10 World Developments: EU, China, Australia, USA, Canada

11. World Renewables roundup: Latin America....and the rest

12 Nuclear News: Nuclear Waste, French mess, Nuclear Hydrogen ?

1. £42m for Wave & Tidal

The UK’s first large scale wave and tidal current power generation farms could be contributing to the national grid within 3 years under a new support scheme worth £42m funded from the £50m Marine Research Deployment Fund announced last August. Energy Minister O’Brien said: “The marine renewables sector is at a critical point in its development from pipe dream, through R&D, to commercial viability. The UK is already by far the most attractive place to develop these emerging technologies. The Government has invested £15m in R&D, and it’s now clear that there are a number of exciting wave and tidal projects on the verge of pre-commercial operation. This new £42m scheme marks a watershed. It will kickstart construction of large scale demonstration farms and will for the first time see wave and tidal power feeding into the national grid. Harnessing energy from the seas has terrific potential which, alongside wind and other renewables, will make an increasingly vital contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and diversifying our energy mix.”

Following the recommendations of the Renewables Innovation Review, the new scheme will support a number of larger scale pre-commercial demonstration wave and tidal current farms via a combination of grant and revenue support, i.e. an additional payment for electricity generated.  The capital grants will be 25% of eligible costs, with the maximum available to any one technology/project being £5m. The revenue support will be £100/MWh and this will remain in place for five years. In addition to this the DTI notes that projects will be entitled to receive the market value of the electricity and Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) they generate, but the revenue support payment will not vary with the market price of electricity or ROCs.

The DTI notes that income from electricity sales and ROCs can continue beyond the 5 years of revenue support under this scheme, provided the projects continue to operate in accordance with the relevant ROC requirements. So it’s not a bad deal- a way to get projects going, and with 10p/kWh provided by the DTI for five years (the first ever direct government revue funding for renewables) plus up to 5p/kWh for the RO, it should help sustain them as the technology moves to full commercial viability.

Ian Temperton of Climate Change Capital said,“This is very significant funding. There are very few similar examples anywhere in the world. A sum like £42m represents at least half of the private capital in the industry to date and will help make the UK the centre for wave and tidal innovation in years to come.” But note, the new scheme doesn’t cover tidal lagoons or barrages. Details in Renew 156.

More for Wavegen  No allocations have been made under this new scheme yet (bids were required by April) but we do have news of an allocation under another scheme.  Wavegen is to  receive £470,000 from the DTI’s £60m Technology Strategy programme for innovative technologies, for development work on its near shore wave energy device. David Gibb, Wavegen’s finance director, said: “We are close to making wave energy a commercial reality”.

Lunar Energy has also been successful in the DTI Technology Strategy awards, with a £2.25m allocation for the further development of this ducted rotor device, which is to be tested at the European Marine Energy Centre, with the involvement of Southampton University.  Further information about other projects funded under the award scheme is at:

Marine Current Turbines Ltd. has also been given a DTI Grant of £3.85m towards its £8 million 1MW ‘SeaGen’ tidal energy turbine project. It should be installed at a yet to be confirmed location in 2006. Meanwhile MCT’s earlier ‘Seaflow’ turbine, off Lynmouth, is now successfully operating unattended and remotely controlled, and MCT says is performing better than the design expectation- the energy capture has been up to 25% better than expected. It has also exceeded the original project operating period and will be run for at least another 12 months in its exposed location. More in Renew 156.

Wave to go

The UK’s Pelamis wave energy device was used as the basis for a study led by the US Electric Power Research Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, using learning curve analysis to predict cost reductions. It concluded that wave energy may be economically feasible within the territorial waters of the U.S. as soon as the technology reaches a cumulative production volume of 10,000 to 20,000 MW.

The analysis was based on a 90MW Pelamis tidal farm and assumed a 40% capacity factor to achieve a total output of 300,000 MWh. Given that the UK’s wave climate is generally  much better than that in the USA, this is very good news.

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