It seems we can’t go a week without talking about strides being made or patents being filed for a new style of solar cell or increases in wind power capacity. But, as we’ve reported before, many commercial energy developers are all at sea when it comes to tidal power.
But this week a new wave of tidal energy landed in the UK, as the first of a new generation of devices landed in Wales.
The DeltaStream device, developed by Tidal Energy Ltd, is a 150 ton, 20m-tall platform housing three turbines. Capable of outputting 400kW, the Deltastream will be installed off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales in Ramsay Sound.
The UK government and investors will operate the generation for a trial period of 12 months, in which time it will supply commercial energy to around 1000 nearby homes.
Should the trial period prove successful, plans have already been made to install a further nine DeltaStream devices along the coast, creating a grin capable of a 10mw yield.
Renewable Energy Association chief executive Dr. Nina Skorupska said, ‘‘Many of our ocean energy members are currently racing to deploy the first wave or tidal farm, with several of these types of devices instead of just one. When that happens the sector will move into mass production, costs will fall dramatically, and wave and tidal will be well on their way to becoming major players in the UK energy system.’’
The project was helped to fruition by £8m of European Union funding, but it’s anticipated that the UK marine energy market will see rapid growth over the next two decades, with commercial energy industry experts placing a £6.1 billion valuation on the industry by 2035.