UK invests £2.5m in wave and tidal research

By Isabella Kaminski

The investment from the Government-backed Technology Strategy Board will help finance research and development focused on supporting the deployment of pre-commercial, full-scale wave and tidal devices installed and operating in the sea.

The companies leading the three projects are: Bauer Renewables, Pelamis Wave Power and Marine Current Turbines. The total value of the research and development work, including contributions from the participating companies, will be over £9m. Three universities and 7 British companies will be involved in the work.

Bauer plans to design, manufacture and test seabed drilling technology for the installation of underwater device foundations aiming to reduce the cost of installation and deployment of tidal energy devices.

The Pelamis-led project will test two P2 wave power machines in an array for the first time, to prove and demonstrate survivability, reliability, operability, maintainability and energy yield.

Marine Current Turbines will research the impact of tidal arrays on the marine environment, through studies conducted of the SeaGen device at Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, says: “Investment in these projects will accelerate the pace of development of marine renewable energy in the UK. The projects will address a number of important technological challenges, including reducing the effect of the technologies on the environment and making the cost of wave and tidal stream energy production more competitive with other renewable energy sources.”

This is the second recent investment by the Technology Strategy Board in wave and tidal technologies.

In July 2010, the Board announced investments totalling £7m in 9 research and development projects, focussing on reducing the cost of energy while improving the reliability and performance of wave and tidal stream energy devices.