Archipelago to explore the potential of wave, tidal and floating wind energy

The Isles of Scilly are located in waters off the coast of South West England.

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A year-long research project that will focus on the potential of tidal, wave and floating wind technology in waters off the coast of England has received support from Marine-i, a program focused on innovation in areas such as marine energy.

The project will be based on the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago off the southwest coast of England, and led by Isles of Scilly Community Venture, Planet A Energy and Waves4Power.

In a statement earlier this week, Marine-i – which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund – said the overarching goal of the Isles of Scilly initiative was to “build a new database of wave and tidal data.”

This data will include information on a range of metrics, including wave height, wind speed, and tide current speeds. Marine-i’s support will come in the form of granting the consortium access to experts at its partners: the University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

“Being nearly 30 miles off the southwest coast of England, naval power is a natural choice for us and could make Scilly self-sufficient in energy,” Jim Wrigley of Isles of Scilly Community Venture said Tuesday.

“One obstacle to this, however, is that the key data that developers need to assess its viability does not currently exist in the required level of detail,” he added.

Wrigley said the new database “could be the key to unlocking some really exciting green energy solutions for Scilly.”

Marine energy

With miles of coastline, it may come as no surprise that the UK is home to a number of marine energy projects and initiatives.

It was announced last month that approximately £ 7.5 million ($ 10.3 million) in government funding would be used to support the development of eight wave energy projects led by UK universities.

In March, the Port of London Authority also approved trials of tidal energy technology on part of the Thames, a move that could ultimately help decarbonise activities linked to the river.

Research and development focused on these types of technologies is not limited to the UK. This week, the marine energy company Minesto, which is developing a tidal power project in the Faroe Islands, said its DG100 power plant had “delivered grid-compliant electricity at new record levels.” During recent production runs.

And in February, it was announced that a tidal turbine built and tested in Scotland had been installed in waters off a Japanese island chain. In a statement, London-listed firm Simec Atlantis Energy said at the time that its pilot turbine had generated 10 megawatt hours in its first 10 days of operation.

There is a growing interest in marine-based energy systems, but it should be noted that the current footprint of these technologies remains small.

Recent figures from Ocean Energy Europe show that only 260 kilowatts (kW) of tidal power capacity was added in Europe last year, while only 200 kW of wave energy was installed.

On the other hand, according to the trade association WindEurope, 14.7 gigawatts of wind energy capacity was installed in Europe in 2020.