Renew On Line (UK) 57

Extracts from NATTA's journal
, issue 157 Sept-Oct 2005

   Welcome   Archives   Bulletin         


1.   £40m for Carbon Abatement:
Clean coal/ CCS arrives

2.   Renewables are the priority:
Tidel gets pushed

3.   Wave power Developments:
Juiced in England, sold off in Scotland

4.   Wind developments:
Skye battles

5.   Intermittency? No problem!  
ECI and SDC agree

6.   Diversity is the Key
say the Council for Science and Technology

7.   Commons on Energy:
Select Committee reactions

8.   REFIT beats RO: 
it costs less

9.   UK roundup- the '40% House'
Solar PV fears

10. New BREW to cut waste:
efficiency for business

11. Global Developments: 
US, Australia, China, new Pact

12. EU round up:

13. Nuclear Developments:
'5000 new reactors', MOX ,ITER

3. Wave power Developments

Wave gets Juiced

The green fund element of npowers Juice green power scheme, which is backed by Greenpeace, has provided £195,000 to Regen SW to help with the development of its wave energy programme. npower donates £10 for each Juice customer each years to the fund, up to a maximum of £500,000. Juice subscribers get their power matched by power from npowers N.Wales offshore wind farm, but do not pay extra for this.  Npower say that the Juice  fund will be used to support ‘new and emerging renewable energy technologies such as wave, tidal and solar’, and that the Regen SW award was ‘the first of many npower Juice funded projects’.

It involves installing a wave measurement buoy 12 miles off the coast near St. Ives. in Cornwall.  npower says that the area has great potential for the generation of electricity from waves and is being investigated by the SW Regional Development Agency as the possible site for Wave Hub, a connection point out at sea into which developers can plug their generators. Wave energy companies will be able to use the data from the buoy to develop their wave machine designs, and this data will help prove to investors that projects will be financially viable. The project is designed to speed up the installation of the world’s first wave farms, which, npower says, could be in place off the SW of England within 3 years.

Mike O’ Brien, then Energy Minister, commented; “Greenpeace and npower’s Juice Fund is an innovative way of channelling support into emerging renewable energy technologies. This funding announcement is a welcome boost for the marine renewables industry in the UK, and for the SW in particular. The UK has one of the largest marine energy resources in Europe. With our engineering skills and experience we have the potential to be a world leader in marine renewable technology.”

Kevin McCullough, director of npower renewables said: ‘This project represents an important step in helping establish confidence in wave energy, we’re hoping to help kick start a thriving marine industry in the UK’.  He added ‘As one of the UK’s leading renewable energy developers we are delighted to be actively involved in the development of wave and tidal power in the UK’.

Matthew Spencer, chief executive of Regen SW said: “This project will bring the UK’s first wave farm a little closer. We’re very aware of the great wave resource we’ve got off the South West coast, but with the help of this award we’ll be able to provide wave energy companies with accurate measurements from the sea. They’ve told us they need this data to encourage investment in their wave machines, so this project will help speed up their progress in getting devices out to sea.”

Stephen Tindale, Executive Director, Greenpeace said, “Juice customers should be proud of this achievement. By signing up to npower Juice they are directly funding the research and development of clean renewable energy such as this wave project.”       For more see:

Wave Warning

‘Scottish wave technology developers face a funding crisis that could threaten the development of an indigenous wave energy device industry, mirroring the destruction of Scotland’s wind device business in the 1990s’.  So said the Scottish Sunday Herald (May 29th), warning that the £42m funding being offered by the government for new wave and tidal projects might not be enough to sustain the industry.  It said that wave technology firms were ‘being caught in the “valley of death” between invention and commercialisation.  Investors are reluctant to finance a technology which, for most firms, will not have a commercial implementation until 2008 at the earliest.’  

Wavegen, one of the early leaders, had, it said, ‘prevented itself from going out of business by selling up to a German energy giant in what could be an early sign that funding crises are endangering Scotland’s wave energy businesses’ (see our report below) .  And  Ocean Power Delivery, widely regarded as the market leader with its Pelamis device, had managed to get a £5.5 m contract from Portugal.

*While overseas support is to be welcomed, you also need a domestic base, as Scottish wind turbine manufacturer Howdens found in the 1980’s. They had successfully exported over 70 machines for use in Californian wind farms, but in 1989, with no UK domestic market having emerged (the government were not keen then), they got out of the field.  

 Wavegen sold

Waevegen has been bought by Voith Siemens Hydro, a major German company, raising fears that Scotland will miss out on the impending wave energy boom.  Friends of the Earth Scotland’s chief executive Duncan McLaren said: ‘Unless ministers get a grip of the situation, we can kiss goodbye to becoming world leaders in this energy technology, just as we failed to do with windpower. It is now time for Government to put its money where its mouth is and properly back marine renewables.’

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