NewEnergyNews: EU OCEAN ENERGY LOOKS TO 2030 W/SLOWER GROWTH THAN HOPED

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    Friday, April 26, 2013

    EU OCEAN ENERGY LOOKS TO 2030 W/SLOWER GROWTH THAN HOPED

    EU push for ocean energy set to fall short

    March 30, 2013 (Reuters via Business Recorder)

    “Europe's wave and tidal power technology is likely to disappoint EU expectations for 2020 and take over a decade to contribute to energy supply in a significant way, even though it is chalking up rapid growth and drawing in big industrial investors…[and secured in the last year] an estimated few hundred million euros from companies such as Siemens and Vattenfall.

    “It is making fast progress from prototype devices toward full-scale sea trials and promises to be more reliable than many types of renewable power that depend on the weather. But those numbers are far less than European Union expectations for 8.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) of investment and generation capacity of 3.6 gigawatts installed by 2020…[Grid-connected capacity from wave and tidal in the UK, though still modest at 5.6 MW, has risen 90 percent since March last year and is expected to rise to 11 MW this year with the connection of at least seven new devices. Some utilities like Vattenfall want expansion of grid capacity before investing]…”

    “The technology, like other renewables, needs government financing help to reach commercial scale and…[become] cost efficient…Government financing is hard to come by while…governments are cutting spending…[and] its development costs are still far higher than for other renewables, including offshore wind power…[ There technical challenges, the need to build grid infrastructure and control systems, and cost issues. Current estimates for the levelised cost are 0.38-0.48 pounds/KWh for wave energy and 0.29-0.33 pounds/KWh for tidal, compared with 0.09-0.10 pounds/KWh for nuclear and offshore wind]…

    “Siemens, which increased its stake in UK developer Marine Current Turbines last month, sees double-digit annual growth rates for marine current renewables to 2020 from virtually zero now and expects it ultimately to meet 3 to 4 percent of global energy demand…Most experts expect the first large-scale commercial projects of 1 MW or more to emerge by 2016 or 2017 and ocean energy to start contributing to the EU power mix between 2025 and 2030…[T]he next challenge is to get to five-to-10 MW arrays and then move to hundreds of megawatts…”

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