The UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has announced plans to design and demonstrate a low-cost wave energy converter system.

Energy resources in UK waters mean that marine energy technologies could play an important role with other offshore renewables in meeting CO2 emissions reductions targets. Wave Energy Converters (WECs) are one method of exploiting this energy potential.

Many competing concepts are being developed but none yet demonstrate a clear route to large-scale commercial deployment, said Dr David Clarke, the ETI’s chief executive.

“For wave energy to realise its potential there will need to be reductions in the costs of building, installing and operating the devices and associated infrastructure, as well as improvements to device technical performance and reliability,” he said.

“This project will identify the areas major improvements could be made and, if as we hope, significant savings can be demonstrated, the intention is that we will invest in the development and demonstration of them.”

The project will be commissioned in two phases, the first providing a fully detailed design concept for a wave energy converter system capable of delivering at least 10 MW of power before a second phase where the new innovations are developed and demonstrated at full scale at sea.

The project, which will also market opportunities of the technologies in the UK and abroad, is expected to start in spring 2012 with the first phase lasting until autumn 2012.

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