“The UK is clearly now the
world leader in marine energy development,” Minister of State for Energy, Malcolm
Wicks told the 250 delegates to British Wind Energy Association’s (BWEA) Third
Annual Wave and Tidal Conference held at the Sage in Gateshead. Speaking from
Parliament with Ben Bradshaw, using a live video linkup, Wicks was referring to
a new wave of grants from the 50 million euro renewable fund. UK set a goal of
20 percent generation from renewables by 2020. The government also instituted
subsidies of 150 euros per MWh for seven years capping at 9 million euros for
full scale marineprototypes. Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC’s) account
for 30 euros per MWh. Ben Bradshaw, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Marine Welfare
added that the EC will be watching the UK, “as the model for the rest of the world.”
Wave and tidal
developers consist of new start-up companies, OEM’s, university spin-outs or combinations
of all three. The Carbon Trust’s, Marine Energy Challenge, operating in a tender
bid, matched up eight developers with engineering consultants to identify and
gauge concepts at varying degrees of development during an 18 month, 3 million
euro funded study between January 2004 and June 2005.
Risk Consulting reviewed Aqua Energy’s patented “Aquabouy” consisting of the IPS
offshore wave energy converter and the Swedish Hosepump. As the buoy pitches from
wave energy, the seawater is pumped into the turbine converting kinetic energy
Technology’s, Wavebob, is a self-reacting point absorber that exploits the relative
movement of two floating bodies giving greater bandwidth. Wavebob’s innovative
features of responding to high energy long period waves while maintaining small
displacements is being reported on by Arup Energy Consulting.
& Veatch examined the wave rotor technology from ECOFYS which transfers energy
from both tidal and wave currents based on hydrodynamic lift. The monopile mounting
can be shared with offshore wind turbine developers. Tests were conducted at NaREC.
Embley Energy developed SPERBOY based on the principle of oscillating water columns,
displacing air using multiple chambers simultaneously. It’s been designated for
development 8-12 miles offshore and is being evaluated by DNV (Det Norske Veritas)
the certification agency.
University’s PS Frog is an offshore point absorber wave energy device. Shaped
like a paddle, it pitches and surges with the wave’s action capturing large amounts
of power for its size. EON Power is critiquing the device.
Power Delivery developed the Pelamis wave energy converter, a semi-submerged structure
consisting of three power conversions modules rated at 250 KW each. Frazer-Nash
Consulting followed extensive sea-trials at EMEC.
Volt Technologies designed Wave Rider, a point absorber wave device for sites
of water depths greater than 50M. The symmetrical buoy floats freely. Halcrow
Group is the consultant.
Dragon is a slack-moored, overtopping wave energy device, similar to a hydroelectric
power plant. Waves travel onto a ramp and into a reservoir where low-head hydro
turbines return the water back to the sea. Peter Brotherhood consulted on the
project during sea-trials.
and Ocean Wave Master are spin-outs from Imperial College. Susan Searle, CEO of
Imperial Innovations told World-Generation during a tour of the wave tank lab,
“that over 60 new companies and 70 license agreements have been launched since
1988.” Many are listed on AIM (Alternate Investment Market) stock exchange.
SMD Hydro and Wavegen are working with the University of Newcastle, School of
Marine Science and Technology under Dr. Atilla Incecik to answer the question
of dealing with a quick drop in topography found in California and in the Med.
testing was carried out at the New and Renewable Energy Center (NaREC) in Blyth.
The marine test facility has 3 seawater docks for wave and tidal experiments.
BWEA and NaREC provided a tour the day before the conference.
NaREC’s trials, projects are moved to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)
located in Orkney. It is the world’s first purpose built, open-sea test facility
for marine energy converters. Tidal berths are in water depths of 50m with grid
“Power and Opportunity” directory lists fourteen wave developers and seven tidal
developers; eight made it into the Carbon Trust’s, MEC and two were spin-outs
from Imperial College.
listed developers are Marine Current Turbines (MCT) and Ocean Power Technologies
(OPT), both have major investors.
will be listed with contact information in the 12th edition of Bueche’s Directory
of Developers in World-Generation’s Volume 18, Issue Number 3.