A Bad break for Voith Hydro Wavegen  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The Climate Spectator has an update on wave power developments in Europe - Bad break.

German utility RWE has pulled funding for the world’s largest wave project in Scotland, and walked away from the 4MW facility that was to have been installed on the Scottish island of Lewis in the outer Herbrides. It will focus instead on a tidal energy plant in nearby Orkney. The decision has left the prime developer, the Scottish-based Voith Hydro Wavegen in search of new funding for the development, which is based around an oscillating water column, which uses the power of the ocean to move air in and out of specially constructed chambers, thereby driving a turbine to generate power.

Voith only last week commissioned a smaller version of the technology at a 300kW breakwater array at the Basque seaport of Mutriku, in a development co-sponsored by Spanish utility Ente Vasco de la Energia, Voith said it would continue to pursue the project at Lewis, but would seek new partners in the venture. Voith Hydro is majority owned by the German engineering group Voith and 35 per cent by Siemens.

The decision by RWE is seen by some in the industry as evidence that investor interest in marine power is tipping towards tidal technology. RWE said it was still committed to researching how best to harness marine energy off the coast of Scotland, but has chosen to redirect its efforts towards projects that are “faster and cheaper" to develop. It remained committed to a 1MW tidal development off Orkney, which will also use Voith technology. Scotland aims to harness 1.6 gigawatts of wave and tidal power in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.

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