Wave energy project gets £2m funding

A project to create a standardised offshore electricity generator for the wave industry has been awarded £2 million by Wave Energy Scotland.

The WavePOD (Wave Power Offtake Device) aims to develop a subsea unit, which can be attached to a variety of different wave energy devices and converts the movement of such a device into electricity. 

Aquamarine Power, Bosch Rexroth and Carnegie Wave Energy are jointly running the project.

A tenth-scale WavePOD prototype has already been built and is undergoing a rigorous test programme at the world-leading Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Controls (IFAS) at RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

Commenting on the new investment, Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Paddy O'Kane said: "The WavePOD project addresses head-on one of the major challenges in the wave energy sector - how to convert the motion of a wave machine into electricity, both reliably and cost effectively.

"From the outset we have worked with Bosch Rexroth to ensure WavePOD will be applicable to a wide range of technologies.  The very welcome involvement of Carnegie Wave Energy and the investment by Wave Energy Scotland means we can now take our plans on to the next stage.

"We have already generated extremely positive results from our tenth-scale prototype in Germany and we are now in an ideal position to build on this success."

Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, added: "Wave Energy Scotland is running the biggest technology programme the wave sector has ever seen. Therefore I am delighted to see the first contracts being awarded to technology developers.   

“Scottish businesses are involved in the overwhelming majority of the projects and this is testament to the number of innovative companies operating in Scotland."

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues