World's first major wave farm is set to get green light off Cornwall
Monday 17 September 2007
The world's first large-scale wave farm will be given planning approval today. Wave Hub, a £28m project off the Cornish coast, is expected to be in place and producing renewable energy by 2009.
Funding for the scheme – described as a giant electrical socket on the seabed – has already been approved by the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA).
The wave farm, which has been on the cards for four years, will boost the industry worldwide and become a centre of research.
Generators attached to Wave Hub's infrastructure by other developers will produce enough electricity for 7,500 homes, directly saving 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 25 years. This will support the South-west's target of generating 15 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2010.
Wave Hub could create 1,800 jobs and contribute £560m to the British economy over 25 years, according to an independent economic impact assessment, commissioned by the RDA.
It will include an onshore substation connected to electrical equipment on the seabed 10 miles off Hayle via an under-sea cable.
Companies developing wave energy technology will be able to plug into Wave Hub to test their devices on a scale never seen anywhere before. Four have already been chosen to use the system.
Jason Clark a spokesman for Wave Hub, said: "It is rather like a 10-mile extension lead plugged into the National Grid. So although we will be supplying energy to the South-west, the real advantage of this project is in allowing other experts to plug in their equipment to see if it can be developed commercially."
The Wave Hub project will cover an area of sea measuring 2.5 miles by 1.25 miles and each developer will be granted a lease of between five and 10 years in an area of approximately 1.3 square miles. Up to 30 wave energy devices are expected to float on the surface of the sea above Wave Hub.
Engineers from Ocean Power Delivery recently helped build a smaller wave farm off the Portuguese coast after deploying a prototype off the Orkneys.
Wave farms have not proved as popular as solar and wind power because of the great expense of equipment and installation.
However, environmentalists point out that wind power has reduced its cost by 80 per cent since the first commercial farms were built more than 16 years ago.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Iberian lynx cubs born in the wild bring hope for the world's most endangered feline species
Morne Hardenberg: 'Great white sharks have a softer side most people never get to see'
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
Great white sharks - the misunderstood giants with a softer side
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...