Yale Environment 360 links to an interesting wave energy experiment. Scotland has a big chunk of the wave energy resource in the EU region, perhaps 10% — so I hope this proves to be economically competitive. There is more on the ‘Oyster’ here.
An Irish university has launched the worldâ€™s largest hydro-electric wave energy converter off the coast of northern Scotland. The so-called Oyster is a mechanically-hinged flap that is embedded into the sea floor â€” at a depth of about 32 feet (10 meters) â€” and moves with the motions of the waves. That wave energy pumps high-pressure water to a shore-based electric turbine. Power will be fed into the national grid and provide electricity to homes in the Orkney islands. Researchers say a farm of 20 Oysters could eventually provide enough electricity to power 9,000 three-bedroom homes. The technology was developed by
Queenâ€™s University Belfast and Scotland-based Aquamarine Power Ltd. â€œDevices such as these have the power to revolutionize the worldâ€™s energy industry and help combat climate change,â€ said Trevor Whittaker, professor in the Queenâ€™s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering and lead investigator for the project. School officials say wave and tidal power could one day provide 20 percent of the UKâ€™s energy needs. [From Irish University Introduces Worldâ€™s Largest Wave Energy Converter]