Renewables revolution as first tidal-power turbine comes on stream for National Grid
SCOTLAND'S drive to develop new sources of renewable energy took a leap forward yesterday as the first tidal-power-driven electricity was connected to the National Grid.
The milestone was achieved by OpenHydro, an Irish-based renewable-energy company, whose tidal turbine device was installed at the European Marine Energy Centre's (Emec) test site off the island of Eday in Orkney two years ago.
The single 250kW turbine can generate enough electricity to power only 100 homes, but it is expected to pave the way for a huge tidal-power development next year in the Channel Islands.
Jim Mather, Scotland's energy minister, hailed the breakthrough, saying: "This is the first time in Scotland that homes will be powered using the energy of the tides – a massive step forward for Scottish research and technology.
"Scotland has unrivalled potential to generate clean, green energy from our seas. Marine power lies at the heart of our ambitions to develop a vibrant renewables sector, creating jobs and boosting economic growth while tackling climate change."
James Ives, OpenHydro's chief executive, explained: "The OpenHydro turbine is one of the first tidal technologies in the world to reach the stage of permanent deployment at sea and is the accumulation of ten years' design and development work.
"Tidal energy sets itself apart from other forms of renewable energy in that it is completely predictable.
"It is the fastest-growing emerging technology in the renewable-energy sector and is set to make a major contribution to the security of energy supply and to carbon-free energy generation."
Emec was established with the aid of funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the Scottish Government and other sources to support the development of wave and tidal energy devices from the prototype stage through to the commercial marketplace.
Neil Kermode, the centre's managing director, said: "The oceans are a huge potential source of sustainable energy. If we can harvest even a small quantity of the power contained within them, we can deliver a significant share of the electricity needs of countries around the world."
Liam McArthur, the Liberal Democrats' energy spokesman and MSP for Orkney, also welcomed the development.
He said: "As fuel prices rocket, fossil fuels are running out and a safe and effective solution to disposing of nuclear waste eludes us, it is more important than ever to invest seriously in renewable energy."
However, he warned: "Emec is a world-leading facility, but it will require ongoing investment to keep it that way."
Electricity – from a load of rubbish
MORAY Council will today officially inaugurate a new renewable energy generation project that is harnessing methane gas from the area's only landfill site to provide electricity to power 1,300 homes.
The gas collection facilities have been installed at Nether Dallachy, in Spey Bay.
The project has been designed and built by Renewable Power Systems, in collaboration with Moray Council and the Crown Estate. The company will also operate the system.
Renewable Power Systems, which will recoup the company's investment by selling the electricity to the National Grid, has installed the plant at no cost to the council.
A percentage of the royalties will also be paid to the council and the owners of the site, the Crown Estate.
Councillor George McIntyre, the council's convener, said: "Methane gas is the most harmful of all the greenhouse gases, so to harness it in this positive way and generate electricity is of double benefit.
"Energy resources are becoming scarcer and more expensive to process and, as an authority, we have a duty to ensure we make the most of what we have."
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
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