Thursday, January 26, 2006

Britain could rule the waves again!

Northern Ireland regulators have approved the installation of a 1 MW tidal energy turbine. This is the second marine energy installation announced in two months [see blog entry below].

Marine energy is now taking off, and Britain is set to rule the waves again. A new review of the industry says Britain could win £85 million within four years in wave and tidal energies.

Northern Ireland's Environment and Heritage Service has given consent to Marine Current Turbines to install its SeaGen tidal turbine in Strangford Lough.

The turbine will be installed and connected to the grid this year, and will generate power for 600 homes.

“The great advantage with tidal power is its predictability, certainty of fuel supply, and zero carbon emissions,” says Martin Wright of Marine Current Turbines. He forgot to say it's also free, of course!

“The UK leads the world in the field of tidal energy and this announcement is a very important step in maintaining that position,” said energy minister Malcolm Wicks.

Global capital expenditure on wave energy is estimated at £72 million between 2004 and 2008, with 50% in the UK. Capital expenditure on tidal projects is estimated at £55 million during the same period, of which 90% is related to the UK.

Just think - if all the money they want to put into nuclear and gas imports went into developing and installing this technology, in twenty years we'd be unbeatable as world leaders in the field and be self-sufficient in energy for ever.

>> Marine Turbines
>> Consulting firm OTM's report Marine Renewable (Wave & Tidal) Opportunity Review, produced for the Scottish Enterprises Energy Team [pdf 1.2MB]

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