Survey of Energy Resources Interim Update 2009
SER 2007 version >Wave Energy Country Notes update
The Australian Federal Government and the State Governments are currently supporting the development of wave energy by issuing licences and by being party to MOU's. There has been considerable testing and development of the various wave schemes in recent years.
Energetech (Australia) Pty Ltd.
Energetech Australia Pty Ltd. changed its name to Oceanlinx in April 2007. The company reports that a power purchase agreement has been signed with the utility Integral Energy for the supply of electricity from the 450 kW prototype Port Kembla wave project which is undergoing an extended production test. Oceanlinx also reports progress in obtaining the necessary permits required for the installation of the 27 MW Portland wave scheme in Victoria.
Carnegie Corporation Ltd.
The first and second pilot-scale CETO 2 wave energy units, developed by Seapower Pacific, a subsidiary of Renewable Energy Holding Plc/Carnegie Corporation Ltd., were deployed in January and February 2008 respectively at the CETO test site in Fremantle, Western Australia. Subsequent units were deployed later in the year. Testing of CETO 2 is occurring concurrently with the development of CETO 3. A full-scale, deepwater, commercial demonstration version of the latter is expected during 2009.
In August 2008 Carnegie Corporation announced that the company had been awarded a wave energy licence and an option to lease a site off Albany by the Western Australia State Government. The company hopes to develop a commercial wave farm.
An MOU between the Australian Department of Defence and Carnegie will allow Carnegie to determine the feasibility of a WA wave project which would ultimately supply electricity and/or desalinated water to the Stirling Naval Base on Garden Island.
Early in 2009 Carnegie and Synergy, Western Australia's largest electricity retailer, signed an MOU. Carnegie would sell wave-generated electricity to Synergy from its CETO projects in Western Australia.
Carnegie has signed a Licence Agreement with the South Australia State Government to investigate an 17 000 hectare offshore area in the region of Port MacDonnell, suitable for a 50 MW demonstration wave scheme.
The MOU signed between BioPower Systems and Hydro Tasmania in May 2008 will allow BioPower to test its pilot bioWAVE™ device in the waters off King Island. The 250 kW unit will feed the electricity generated into the grid. The company has stated that it hopes to launch its first commercial units in 2010.
The emphasis in the Danish wave sector is currently on developing the technology by private enterprise, rather than on a governmental policy for utilising wave energy.
Until January 2005 Wave Dragon was tested at its location in Nissum Bredning. A modified prototype was re-sited and subsequently tested. In mid-2008, the unit underwent maintenance and repairs; re-deployment and final testing in its original site is planned for March 2009.
In December 2008 WavePlane A/S reported that it was ready to deploy its first full-scale prototype. After initial testing it will be towed to an anchorage site at Hanstholm where further testing and connection to the grid will take place.
Wave Star Energy has been extensively testing its Wave Star plant, also anchored at Nissum Bredning. The original unit was a 1:10 scale model, producing 5.5 kW, but the company is now working to construct a 1:2 scale model. The plan is ultimately to build and market a 6 MW unit.
Floating Power Plant A/S deployed its demonstration Poseidon 37 floating power plant in the Vindeby offshore wind park in September 2008. Following testing, the company plans to develop hybrid power plants which act as a floating foundation for offshore wind turbines.
Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI, Ireland's national energy agency) and the Marine Institute prepared the National Strategy for Ocean Energy in 2006. The aim is to introduce ocean energy and then to develop the sector as part of the renewables portfolio. To this end, the Strategy has four phases - Phase 1: 2005-2007, a test site for quarter-scale prototypes developed in Galway Bay, R&D; Phase 2: 2008-2010, continues work of Phase 1 together with demonstration of pre-commercial single devices and establishment of a grid-connected test site; Phase 3: 2011-2015, testing and evaluation of pre-commercial small array wave units; Phase 4: 2016 onwards, formulation of strategies for commercial development of wave power.
The Ocean Energy Development Unit (OEDU) was created to assist with the implementation of the Government's policy to hasten the development of ocean energy in Ireland. The current targets for wave and tidal are 75 MW by 2012 and 500 MW by 2020. Furthermore it is planned that Ireland will become a centre of excellence for ocean technologies. It is hoped that several sites on the west coast of Ireland will be granted permission for development.
In January 2009, it was announced that the Swedish utility Vattenfall had acquired 51% of Pandion Ltd, an ocean energy site development company. The remaining 49% is owned by Wavebob Ltd. The Wavebob device continues to be tested and evaluated.
During mid-2008 Ocean Energy successfully completed first sea trials of its OE Buoy prototype wave energy converter. At the beginning of 2009 the company reported that it was finalising its strategic business plan prior to raising capital for developing a full-scale device.
Portugal plays a leading role in the wave energy sector and saw the world's first commercial wave power project installed during 2008. The Wave Energy Centre (WavEC), founded in 2003, continues to promote and support the implementation of wave energy technology and the commercialisation of devices.
At the beginning of 2007, Government approval was given for the creation of a Pilot Zone at São Pedro de Muel, Marinha Grande, 150 km north of Lisbon. The Zone was set up in January 2008 and later, in December, a Decree approved the bases of concession to harness the wave energy resource and also granted this concession to the national grid operator, Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN) to manage the site. The stated objectives of the Pilot Zone are: to create an industrial cluster by attracting demonstration and development to the country; to increase renewable energy production and to promote innovation, supported by R&D. The area covered by the Zone is approximately 400 km2, lying between 5 and 8 km from the coastline. It will be connected to both the local distribution network and the national grid.
Pelamis Wave Power (PWP)
On 23 September 2008, the world's first commercial wave power project was inaugurated at the Aguçadoura Wave Park in northern Portugal. The three semi-submerged, articulated 750 kW Pelamis Wave Energy Converters (PWEC) lie 5 km off the Atlantic coastline and are connected to shore where generated electricity is fed to the national grid. The Scottish company, PWP (formerly Ocean Power Delivery) will supply a further 25 PWECs bringing the total capacity to 21 MW in the second phase of the project.
Testing followed the successful deployment of a WaveRoller 13 kW prototype at Peniche, 100 km north of Lisbon in April 2007. WaveRoller, a product of the Finnish company AW-Energy Oy is a bottom-mounted flat plate oscillating device. By mid-2007 AW-Energy had formed a partnership with the Lena Group of Portugal to create a new entity to finance and develop a 1 MW power plant based on the WaveRoller technology. In April 2008 a second WaveRoller prototype was deployed in Peniche, where it is undergoing testing and evaluation.
Globally, the UK remains at the forefront of the development of wave energy technology.
The UK's Energy Act 2008 became law in November 2008 and will implement the legislative aspects of the 2007 Energy White Paper: Meeting the Energy Challenge. In part, the Act will strengthen the Renewables Obligation to drive greater and more rapid deployment of renewable energy in the UK. In December 2008 a draft Renewables Obligation Order 2009 was published.
The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), completed in late 2003 in Orkney, Scotland, provides developers with the wherewithal to test full-scale grid-connected prototype wave and tidal devices. A first of its kind in the world, EMEC's wave test centre is sited off Billia Croo, Mainland island, Orkney.
Although not all wave energy devices conform, EMEC has identified six main types of wave energy converter (attenuator, point absorber, oscillating wave surge converter, oscillating water column, overtopping device and submerged pressure differential) and approximately 100 wave energy concepts. However, many concepts are still at the R&D stage.
England's South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) exists to promote and develop a sustainable economy in the region by identifying its business potential. Having established the SWRDA in 1999, the Government announced in August 2006 that funding would be available for a seabed unit for connecting wave energy converters. Located 16 km offshore from the north Cornish coast, Wave Hub is planned to have up to four devices connected to it, ultimately sending up to 20 MW of generated electricity ashore by sub-sea cable to Hayle. The objective of Wave Hub is that whilst connected, the devices can be tested and evaluated in a pre-commercial environment.
Approval for the construction of Wave Hub was given in September 2007 and, subject to the necessary approvals, it is hoped that the project will be operational in early 2010 with electricity generated by end-2011. Covering a total area 4 km x 2 km, each device will be granted a lease of between 5 and 10 years in an area of 2 km2. The initial four companies to deploy their devices have been chosen: Oceanlinx, Ocean Power Technologies, Fred. Olsen and WestWave (a consortium of E.ON and Ocean Prospect, using a Pelamis device). In time, up to 30 wave devices are expected to be deployed.
The Scottish company Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) was the first to see its technology deployed in the commercial Aguçadoura wave farm (see Portugal). Within the UK, ScottishPower Renewables was granted planning permission in September 2007 to install a wave farm at the EMEC test centre. Four Pelamis devices generating approximately 3 MW of electricity will utilise EMEC's infrastructure to send power to the grid.
In February 2009 it was announced that the utility, E.ON had ordered a next-generation wave device from PWP. Known as P-2, the 750 kW unit will be installed and tested at EMEC before the expected fully operational date of 2010.
Wave Dragon Wales, a subsidiary of the Danish company Wave Dragon, has been granted funding for its Welsh Demonstrator project. The intention is for the site of the Wave Dragon device to be some 3-5 km offshore from Milford Haven and to be tested for 3-5 years.
In early 2009 the Scottish Assembly consented to the Siadar Wave Energy Project (SWEP). The near-shore SWEP will be located on the western coast of the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides. When operational - expected 2010-2011, the 3-4 MW project will be one of the first to operate under the Scottish Government's proposed multiple Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC)4 scheme. SWEP is a joint project between npower renewables (RWE Innogy's UK operating company) and Wavegen (the Scottish subsidiary of Voith Siemens Hydro Power Generation) and is based on the latter's 100 kW LIMPET device.