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Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Cash for wave power scheme
Wavegen aims to harness the power of the Atlantic
A plan to connect a wave power centre in Scotland to the national grid has won backing from the UK Government.

Brian Wilson, the energy minister, said 1.67m would be made available to help establish the world's first-ever floating mini power-station.

The 2.7m wave-power machine, which relies on the power of the ocean, is expected to be launched next summer from a new marine energy testing centre to be built in Orkney.

The machine should be able to generate enough electricity for 1,400 homes once it is operational - but no decision has been taken on where it will be sited.

Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson made the announcement in Islay

Wavegen, the Inverness-based company behind the machine, has already developed a grid-connected shoreline wave energy generator on Islay.

The firm now plans to use the power of the Atlantic Ocean to generate more power with a prototype of its offshore machine.

Mr Wilson announced the cash-aid for the project in Islay, after inspecting the shoreline facility which has proved successful.

He said: "Wavepower has a huge part to play in our drive for renewable energy and Wavegen is at the frontline of the technology.

"Our oceans are a major potential energy source and can lead to a new industry for the UK in which I am determined that we should be world leaders.

"The market place is now ripe for industry to invest in these exciting technologies and I commit the government to doing all we can to encourage this process."

Welcomed by environmentalists

The government hopes to see 10% of the UK's electricity generated from renewable sources by 2010.

Kevin Dunion, the head of Friends of the Earth Scotland, welcomed the announcement.

He said: "This is a tremendous vote of confidence for renewable energy in Scotland as well as an important jobs boost.

"It is exactly the type of scheme the government must continue to support instead of entertaining thoughts of a return to polluting and highly expensive nuclear power.

"If the Government could wake up the full potential of renewables, during its current energy review, then Scotland will not have yet another nuclear power station foisted upon it."

See also:

23 Jul 01 | Scotland
Wave power test site chosen
03 Jun 01 | Scotland
Wave power hope for Scotland
16 Nov 00 | Scotland
Making waves to generate cash
30 Aug 00 | Scotland
Wind farm opposition 'blows over'
28 Mar 00 | Sci/Tech
UK lags on riding 'green wave'
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