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WAVE AND TIDAL POWER TO FEED GRID WITHIN THREE YEARS

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The UK's first large scale wave and tidal power generation farms...
The UK's first large scale wave and tidal power generation farms

could be contributing to the national grid within three years under a new

support scheme worth£42m announced today by energy minister

Mike O'Brien.

The scheme will be funded from the£50m Marine Research

Deployment Fund announced in August and will support the UK's

world-leading wave and tidal industry to construct demonstration

farms around the UK.

Mr O'Brien said:

'The marine renewables sector is at a critical point in its

development from pipe dream, through R&D, to commercial viability.

'The UK is already by far the most attractive place to develop these

emerging technologies. The government has invested£15m in R&D, and

it's now clear that there are a number of exciting wave and tidal

projects on the verge of pre-commercial operation.

'This new£42m scheme marks a watershed. It will kickstart

construction of large scale demonstration farms and will for the

first time see wave and tidal power feeding into the national grid.

'Harnessing energy from the seas has terrific potential which,

alongside wind and other renewables, will make an increasingly vital

contribution towards reducing carbon emissions and diversifying our

energy mix.'

The marine renewable industry welcomed the announcement as 'a major

milestone in the development of the sector'. Philip Wolfe of the

Renewable Power Association, whose Ocean Energy Group represents wave

and tidal energy companies, said:

'This will enable British industry to maintain world leadership in

this crucial renewable energy sector. We are particularly pleased

that the DTI has worked so closely with the industry and other

stakeholders in developing this scheme.'

Notes

1. Full details of the new scheme can be found on the DTI website at

www.dti.gov.uk/energy/renewables/support/index.shtml

2. On 2 August 2004 the DTI announced a new£50m Marine

Renewable Deployment Fund. The purpose of the new fund is to take

forward the recommendations of the Renewables Innovation Review.

3. The new scheme will allocate up to£42m towards supporting

a number of larger scale pre-commercial demonstration wave and tidal

farms. Support under the scheme will be a combination of grant and

revenue support, ie an additional payment for electricity

generated.

4. The government is committed to supporting the development of new

and renewable energy technologies, the realisation of which will help

meet its target of 10% of electricity supply from renewables by 2010

and an aspiration to double that to 20% by 2020.

5. Wave and tidal energy is a large potential resource in the U.K.

and worldwide. DTI has already committed in excess of£15m towards

research and development of wave and tidal energy technologies over

the last five years.

6. Government already offers significant support for renewable and

low carbon energy sources comprising capital grants and research &

development totalling some£500m. Wave and tidal will also

benefit from the Renewables Obligationwhich ensures all electricity

suppliers produce a specified and increasing amount of energy from

renewable sources.

7. The scheme is subject to State Aid approval by the European

Commission.

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