Monday, September 29, 2008


Alex Salmond just announced that the crown estate will be leasing "substantial" areas of the pentland firth for tidal development...and Scottish power is at the front of the queue.

More later

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The mighty Pentland Firth

Ok a rainy September evening the Pentland Firth doesn't look like the Saudi Arabia of anything!

I'm here for a tidal energy conference on which I'll blog more later.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Americans are coming...

The US Department of Energy has announced grants to marine Renewables totalling up to $6.6 million for technologies and Market acceleration and up to $12 million for test centres in Oregon and Hawaii.

More details here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pelamis goes live in Portugal

After what can fairly be described as an extended commissioning period, Pelamis announced today that the Portuguese project comprising 3 750 kW devices has been officially inaugurated by the Portuguese Economy Minister.

There's some interesting stuff in the press release. The project has an installed capacity of 2.25 MW and cost €9 million: put another way, that's £3.16 million/MW. Compared with recently published figures for Greater Gabbard offshore windfarm, which estimate capital costs at around £2.8 million/MW, this suggests that wave is almost competitive with offshore wind already. And wave gets 2 ROCs/MWh in the UK (maybe 5 in Scotland), against 1.5 ROCS/MWhr for offshore wind.

So unless there's a load of hidden cost in the Portuguese project, this is really encouraging for wave power.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

OpenHydro's got themselves a boat

Irish tidal stream energy company OpenHydro have commissioned their new dedicated barge (at a cost of €5 million) to enhance their capacity to install and maintain their equipment.

This is the first specialist bit of equipment I've heard of, and it's a strong statement of intent by OpenHydro. And better than that, it works!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Nothing new under the sun (or waves)

Interesting article in the Guardian today about a horizontal axis transverse tidal turbine: a cylindrical rotor is placed across the tidal stream, and rotates in the tidal stream. I've borrowed the Guardian's illustration here, and their article is here.

The article quotes all sorts of Dons claiming fantastic unit generation costs (£1.7 million/MW installed - better than offshore wind), and a typical THAWT (Transverse Horizontal Axis Water Turbine) comprising two units with a total capacity of 12 MW.

Apparently the technology has been tank tested, and plans are afoot for a half scale device to be sea-tested in 2009 but there's not a peep about where the money will come from.

And why have entitled this blog entry as I have? Because we know of at least one other horizontal transverse axis device out there, among the more than 60 companies we follow on the main Redfield website.