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ETI launches £8m project to unlock wave and tidal energy

An £8 million project that will produce tools capable of accurately estimating the energy yield of major wave and tidal stream energy has been approved by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

Performance Assessment of Wave and Tidal Array Systems (PerAWaT), a project led by consultancy Garrad Hassan, and including EDF Energy, EON, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Oxford, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Manchester will develop a series of models to predict the performance of wave and tidal stream generator arrays.

ETI Chief Executive Dr David Clarke says: “Although the UK has huge marine potential, investment is being held back by uncertainty about the overall costs involved and the potential returns on investment in wave and tidal technologies.

“This project will deliver greatly improved modelling tools to provide more accurate forecasting of energy yields and reduce the uncertainty and investment risk faced by project developers when planning large scale wave and tidal energy schemes.”

Garrad Hassan Marine Renewables Group Leader Dr Robert Rawlinson-Smith adds: “The ETI core objective of accelerating the commercial deployment of energy technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be addressed by this project as it will both establish and validate numerical models capable of predicting the performance of wave and tidal energy converters (WECs and TECs) when operating in arrays.

“Once established, the models will enhance levels of confidence in the design of WEC and TEC arrays and therefore accelerate their large scale deployment. By accelerating deployment rates the project will directly address the ETI Marine Programme outcome goal of increasing deployment to 2 GW by 2020 and 30 GW by 2050.”

There is currently no software package or validated method of estimating the average annual energy production of a wave or tidal stream energy farm, according to the ETI.

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