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Portugal Announces New Wave Energy Project

October 11th, 2006 | No Comments | Posted in Energy- Renewable- Wave

You are at: Oilgae Blog; see also: Oilgae – Oil & Biodiesel from Algae

There was an announcement last week that the world’s first commercial wave energy project will begin delivering wave-generated energy to the north of Portugal later this month.

The result of two decades of research at Lisbon’s Superior Technical Institute, will bring the first 2.25 megawatts ashore at Aguçadoura, in northern Portugal.

It is funded by a consortium headed by leading Portuguese renewable energy company Enersis. The venture uses groundbreaking Pelamis wave devices manufactured by Edinburgh firm Ocean Power Delivery, considered the world’s leading wave technology.

Enersis director for new projects Rui Barros is co-ordinating this project.In his opinion, harnessing the waves is the only one where Portugal might have a real future, owing to its geographical position and extensive coastline

There are predictions that wave power could account for up to 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product by 2050.

As part of the government supported alternative energy plan, another 28 wave power devices will be installed in Portugal within a year for wave energy. The project is supported by state run power company Energias de Portugal.

Relatively new in development, modern research into wave power had its beginnings in response to the 1973 oil crisis. Professor Stephen Salter of the University of Edinburgh pioneered research into wave energy with his prototype machine “Salter’s Duck.”

This machine, which still remains the standard for wave energy, converted around 90 percent of the wave power by bobbing up and down on the surface of the water — like a duck! Though the project early promise, a few setbacks and lack of government support saw the project shelved.

However, with the Portuguese system could change all that and wind energy could again become big on the world renewable energy agenda.

Scotland, for instance is another country keenly interested in wind energy and they have already started interacting with the Portuguese team for research insights on wind energy usage. Significant budgets have already been allocated for renewable marine energy in Scotland, and these would now be directed towards installing the Pelamis wave devices at the European Marine Energy Center in Orkney.

According to some estimates, wave and tidal power could supply a fifth of U.K. energy needs.

See link from World Press that provides more details.

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