Cut our losses

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Many readers would have seen the news on the wave energy conference in Inverness this week. In my opinion what was said during the interviews was primarily designed to attract yet more public money.

New onshore wind power attracts a subsidy of 0.9 ROCs (Renewable Obligation Certificates) but wave energy can attract an eye-watering 5 ROCs, almost six times as much.

A mass energy system is only practicable if the amount of energy needed to deploy and maintain it is hugely outweighed by the amount of energy we get back.

Common sense tells me that this is not being achieved with wave energy, or developers would be queuing up to deploy systems to reap those generous subsides.

The famous Portuguese pilot scheme at Agucadoura was supposed to be followed by a full-scale wave farm, but in 2009 this was quietly dropped, partly due to technical reasons.

Wave devices need to operate in one of the most hostile environments on Earth, in a highly corrosive liquid which often moves very violently.

More than £100 million of public and private money has gone into wave energy firms in Scotland, one of which famously went bust in 2014, leaving debts owed to the public of around £15 million, all for no discernible public benefit. It’s time to cut our losses.

Geoff Moore

Braeface Park

Alness