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Last Updated: Friday, 11 February, 2005, 14:15 GMT
Test results move Wave Hub closer
Hub
The hub could generate up to 30 megawatts of power
Plans to harness the power of the waves off the coast of north Cornwall have been unveiled.

The South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) says a Wave Hub 10 miles off the north Cornish coast could generate electricity for 14,000 homes.

The hub could also create about 700 jobs and contribute about 27m a year to the local economy.

But a report by the National Audit Office says renewable energy could see bills rise by 5% over five years.

We know how we can build it, where we can build it and wave device developers have told us they want it
Dominic Vincent, SWRDA

The SWRDA now has the results of a series of studies into the economic impact and feasibility of the wave project, which aims to be the world's first offshore facility to carry out tests on wave energy devices.

The Wave Hub off the coast of Hayle has already received support in principle from the government's energy minister, Mike O'Brien, who says it has enormous potential.

He said: "The Wave Hub project is an excellent example of a scheme that could bridge the chasm between research and development and full-scale production."

The government wants the UK to be producing 10% of its energy needs from renewable resources by 2010 and the region has been told it must find room for 280 wind turbines to meet energy targets.

The Wave Hub would act as an offshore electrical "socket" connected to the national grid by an underwater cable, and could be positioned off the Cornwall coast in two years time.

The SWRDA has invested 500,000 in the project and says the feasibility studies point to the potential for the region to be the destination of choice for wave energy developers.

Achievable target

Environment manager Dominic Vincent says the Wave Hub could play a crucial role in helping to develop the UK renewable energy sector.

The agency believes it would also give a large financial boost to the local economy and create a "significant" number of jobs.

Mr Vincent said: "This is why we have invested in the project.

"We know how we can build it, where we can build it and wave device developers have told us they want it."

The National Audit Office has released a report on renewable energy which says progress has been slow on the government's 10% target for 2010.

The report says renewable energy is a relatively expensive way to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, and although the target is achievable, it would come at a cost of 1bn a year.

It believes consumers will face a 5% increase in electricity bills by the end of the decade.


SEE ALSO:
Green energy to 'cost consumers'
11 Feb 05 |  Business
Minister briefed on Wave Hub plan
18 Nov 04 |  Cornwall
Experts to assess wave power plan
24 Jul 04 |  Cornwall
Minister praises renewable energy
21 Jul 04 |  Cornwall
Cornwall at hub of wave power
11 Feb 04 |  Cornwall


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