Brian Wilson, the UK Minister for Energy, has announced new plans to harness the power of the ocean to reduce the effects of climate change.
During a visit to the Isle of Islay – an established wave power centre – he committed £1.67 million to developing the world’s first ever floating mini power-station, which turns wave-power from the ocean into megawatts for the national grid.
The machine is expected to be launched next summer from a new marine energy-testing centre to be built in Orkney. Once operational, in a location still to be determined, this technology will, according to a statement, supply enough electricity to power 1400 homes.
Wavegen, the company behind the machine, has already successfully developed the first grid connected shoreline wave energy generator on Islay.
They are now looking forward to exploiting the much larger resource of the Atlantic Ocean with a prototype of their new machine being launched next summer.
‘The Government is expecting to create a £1 billion market for renewable energy by 2010,’ said Mr Wilson. ‘Direct investment of over £250 million over the next three years will contribute towards this.’