Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 10:35 UK

Energy strategy boosts wave hub

Wave hub, artist's impression
When completed, the hub will first provide 20 megawatts of power

A wave energy project off the coast of Cornwall has been given the official go-ahead after an announcement that it is to receive £30m of funding.

The government is to invest £9.5m in the £42m wave hub. The project will also receive £20m of European cash.

The Regional Development Agency (RDA) had already pledged £12.5m to the sea-powered electricity generator.

The funding is part of government plans to make the South West of England a world centre for tidal energy.

'Tremendous accolade'

The European Regional Development Fund, which has given £20m to the project, said a giant national grid-connected socket will be built on the seabed off the coast of Cornwall.

It is expected to be operational in 2011 and could create more than 1,800 jobs, the RDA said.

When completed, it will have an initial maximum capacity of 20 megawatts, enough electricity to power about 7,000 homes, but has been designed with the potential to scale up to 50 megawatts.

An animated sequence shows how wave will be turned into electricity

A further £10m from the government is to be distributed by the Regional Development Agency for other marine energy projects.

The funding announcements form part of the Government's Low Carbon Industrial Strategy.

It includes a white paper on The Low Carbon Transition Plan as well as the UK's Renewable Energy Strategy, the Low Carbon Industrial Strategy and Carbon Reduction Strategy for Transport.

Stephen Peacock, enterprise and innovation executive director of the RDA, said: "Being identified as the UK's first Low Carbon Economic Area is a tremendous accolade and recognition of our commitment to develop this unprecedented economic opportunity.

"We want to forge a new industry from the seas around our shores and today's announcements cement our position as a global leader in wave and tidal technologies."

The first equipment orders for the hub project were placed earlier this this week, the RDA said.

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