Submitted by New Energy News Blog
Britain has, at least since Queen Elizabeth I’s time, thought of itself as a proud island nation reliant on its dominance of the seas for its strength and security. Now its conquest of its oceans has taken on a new meaning. It is going out to meet the New Energy age by establishing an ocean energy capacity.
The UK has connected its first tide energy device to its National Grid and will connect another soon. Experimentation with wave energy is being expanded.
Many think the power of the North Sea can provide the UK with 20% of its energy needs – and that’s without adding in the remarkable abundance of the offshore wind energy there.
The UK has invested a lot of money in developing its ocean energy assets. More expense will likely be required before the cost of wave, tide and current energies can be brought into parity with Old Energy. But most businesspeople know it is necessary to spend money in order to make money and the UK will soon be making back its investment many times over.
Tidal power fuels Britain’s National Grid
Graham Tibbetts, 27 May 2008 (UK Telegraph)
The UK’s first tide energy power generator, installed by OpenHydro, was linked to the National Grid, marking a milestone in New Energy. SeaGen will soon be the 2nd one connected.
– The link between the tide energy device and the UK National Grid was established May 26.
– Power from the generator will be increased over the next few weeks.
– Turbine was installed in 2006 at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) test site and has been testing.
– SeaGen will be connected later this spring.
– The tide energy generator is in the North Atlantic, off the north coast of Scotland’s Orkney Island.
– The EMEC is at the Fall of Warness, off the island of Eday.
– OpenHydro is based in Ireland.
– The SeaGen tide energy device is near the mouth of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.
– SeaGen, based in Edinburgh, is also deploying a wave energy installation off the Atlantic coast of Portugual.
– The OpenHydro generator is estimated to have the capacity to supply power for 550 homes. The SeaGen device will supply 1000 homes.
– Scotland’s north coast has been described as the “Saudi Arabia of ocean energy.”
– SeaGen is also developing a wave energy installation off Portugal. Other wave energy installations are planned off Cornwall and the Orkneys. A barrage is being developed to capture the current and tidal energies of the River Severn.
– Jim Mather, energy minister, Scotland: “This is the first time that homes in Britain will be powered using the energy of the tides…Scotland has unrivalled potential to generate clean, green energy from our seas. Marine power lies at the heart of our ambitions to develop a vibrant renewables sector, creating jobs and boosting economic growth while tackling climate change.”
– Neil Kermode, managing director, EMEC: “This is a very exciting project. OpenHydro’s vision is to deploy farms of tidal turbines under the world’s oceans and we are delighted that EMEC has been able to support the delivery of this key milestone…The wave and tidal resource around Scotland’s coasts is so significant that many other developers across the world are striving to develop devices capable of harnessing the force of our tides and waves.”
– Dr Mark Williamson, director of innovations, UK Carbon Trust: “In the UK, marine energy has the potential to deliver up to 20 per cent of our electricity need. Centres such as EMEC play a crucial role in the development of wave and tidal energy technology. The Carbon Trust continues to support such projects, reinforcing the UK’s leading position in the marine renewable energy field.”