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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 July 2006, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Policies trigger 'wave' of energy
Ocean Power Delivery's Pelamis system
The Pelamis system is a giant wave energy converter
A Scottish firm behind a massive wave power scheme in Portugal has claimed that Scotland is on the verge of similar developments.

Ocean Power Delivery (OPD) designed and built the Pelamis, a massive "sea snake" energy converter, three of which will operate off the coast of Portugal.

The prototype, which is currently being refurbished in Edinburgh, is kept for testing at Stromness in Orkney.

OPD said changes to Scottish Executive policy signalled "a bright future".

Managing director Richard Yemm said that when the Pelamis prototype arrives back in Stromness next month it will be the start of better times for the industry.

He said: "It's been a pretty tough couple of years and everyone in the sector has found it hard to raise investment.

Through pro-active policies Germany now has 150,000 people employed across renewable technology
Richard Yemm
Ocean Power Delivery Ltd

"We had a difficult year last year, but thankfully we've now closed a 13.5m investment deal.

"That was really enabled by much stronger signals we're now getting from the UK and particularly Scottish Executive governments with regard to the attractiveness and enthusiasm for taking wave energy forward."

Mr Yemm said that until now Scottish funding had focussed on research rather than commercial work.

"The Scottish Executive is currently consulting on a market-based system that will reward the production of electricity from wave," he said.

"That really is a clear signal that Scotland is going to back this energy sector and stay one step ahead of the game of our colleagues in Portugal."

Meeting targets

Mr Yemm claimed that countries such as Denmark, Germany and Spain had developed renewable industries that provided employment for tens of thousands of people.

He explained: "For example, through pro-active policies, Germany now has 150,000 people employed across renewable technology.

"Now that's really where policies make a difference and this is where we are looking to the executive in particular, but also to Westminster, to put in place the policies and make sure the jobs that could come from these new energy technologies are in Scotland, not Portugal."

The executive hopes that by 2020, 40% of power will come from green technology.

Mr Yemm said achieving this target would only require a wind farm that was about 15 sq miles in size.

He added: "If you move to new technologies like wave and tidal, they actually use much less space than a wind farm - typically four or five times less space."

Isles renewables yard in trouble
12 Jul 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Orkney energy centre wins backing
24 Apr 06 |  North East/N Isles
Sea machine makes waves in Europe
15 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Sea energy 'could help power UK'
24 Jan 06 |  Science/Nature
Buyout saves wave power company
24 May 05 |  Scotland
Wave energy contract goes abroad
19 May 05 |  Scotland

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