The government in Scotland has given the go-ahead for the installation of the world’s biggest wave energy farm off the north-west coast.
The wave energy company Aquarmarine is slated to start installing their wave energy devices over the next few years. Necessary renewable energy grid infrastructure has to be installed first, or the machines will not be able to distribute electricity.
The wave farm will involve up to 50 wave power machines along one of the best wave energy locations in Europe – at Lab na Greine, close to Fivepenny Borve. The company is currently testing its Oyster 800 device at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney. The devices work by operating a hinged flap that moves with the motion of the waves.
It has been estimated that Scotland holds at much as 10% of Europe’s total wave energy potential, and 25% of its tidal power and offshore wind potential. At that rate, in the future renewable power may be able to be generated in Scotland and distributed elsewhere in Europe, if the necessary infrastructure is developed.
It’ll be interesting to see if wave power starts to catch on in other areas of the world, where there is obvious potential to generate decent amounts of renewable energy in this way. It’s amazing that humans are only now getting around to being able to tap the ocean waves and tides to generate electricity. Having said that, with the tremendous forces the oceans unleash at times, it’s surely no easy task to keep the equipment in working order.