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Wave Energy Scales Up Off Scotland

March 25 2010 | Ocean Ecosystems, Ocean Energy,
by Chad Nelsen

Leading edge: This buoyancy tube is the top edge of a 194-ton hinging device that converts wave energy into 315 kilowatts of electricity. Credit: Aquamarine Power


Scotland hopes to ride the next renewable energy wave. Site leases for several big wave and tidal power projects were awarded last week by the U.K. government, concluding a two-year bidding process that elicited strong interest from major utilities and energy entrepreneurs. The awards open the way for six wave energy projects and four tidal energy systems around Scotland's Orkney Islands that could collectively generate up to 1.2 gigawatts, exceeding the U.K.'s 700-megawatt target for the bidding round. This is an immense scale for an industry that so far has installed only pilot projects involving a handful of small devices.

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