10th September 2009
(Bristol, England) Marine Current Turbines has been ranked as the world’s leading tidal power company in the Cleantech Group’s “Global Cleantech 100” survey, produced in association with the UK’s Carbon Trustand published in The Guardian newspaper.
Marine Current Turbines (MCT) is the only tidal energy company featured on the global list and one of just 13 British companies that are ranked. Last year, the company was ranked 5th overall in the European Cleantech 100 list.
This year’s Global Cleantech 100 listing was drawn up by the Cleantech Group and advised by a panel of experts from around the world who considered which “private companies showed the most commercial promise, which have the most potential and highest likelihood of achieving high growth and market impact.” The Cleantech 100 had been whittled down from an original list of more than 3,500 companies.
Martin Wright, Managing Director of Marine Current Turbines said: “International recognition of MCT’s innovative and pioneering work in the marine renewables sector is hugely welcome. Our SeaGen tidal system, the world’s first commercial sized tidal stream turbine, is generating power into the grid on a daily basis, we are moving forward with new projects in UK and Canadian waters and are exploring potential sites in other parts of the world.”
However, commenting on the future prospects for the UK marine energy industry, Martin Wright who chairs the Ocean Energy Group of the UK Renewable Energy Association added: “If we are to build upon our achievements and if the UK wants to establish a serious marine energy industry then the British Government must do more to support the sector. We have the opportunity for the UK to be for marine energy what Denmark has been to wind.”
“Critically, both the level of ROCs for marine energy and the discrepancies in the UK market must be addressed. Wave and tidal need the same level of support, and the number of ROCs needs to be increased from its present level of two which only puts marine energy on par with offshore wind, which is a mature technology. At this present level, there is effectively no market to pull marine energyforward. A positive signal from Government is vital if the UK marine energy industry is to secure the levels of long-term investment needed to create an industry, contribute to the UK’s low-carbon economy and export our technologies across the world.”
Notes to Editors
1. The Global Cleantech 100 survey was published in The Guardian on September 9th (http://www.guardian.co.uk/globalcleantech100/cream-low-carbon-ideas).
2. Marine Current Turbines Ltd (http://www.marineturbines.com) was established in 2000 and its principal corporate shareholders include BankInvest, ESB International, EDF Energy, Guernsey Electricity and Triodos Bank.
3. The 1.2MW SeaGen was deployed in Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough in April 2008; it has the capacity to generate power for about 1000 homes. It works in principle much like an “underwater windmill” with the rotors driven by the power of the tidal currents rather than the wind. Strangford Lough has a highly energetic tide race and so is recognised as one of the main tidal “hotspots” in UK and Irish waters.
4. Marine Current Turbines is working in partnership with RWE npower renewables to develop a 10.5MW tidal farm using seven upgraded SeaGen systems off the coast of Anglesey, north Wales. It is planned that the Skerries tidal farm will be commissioned in 2011/2012.
The Orcadia multi-cat vessel project, taking place in Caithness this September, is a milestone discovery project. Bill Mowat, Chairman of Gills Harbour and Fellow of the Energy Institute, reports on the project’s players and objectives for the greater tidal industry.
Many types of tidal turbine are under development with individual efficiencies varying from less than 30% to significantly better than 40%. Consultancy Fraenkel-Wright offers some insights into the real issues associated with engineering a product for the tidal environment.
A new multi-customer turbine platform is to be launched in the sea for the first time in September.