Proponents of marine power accept that ambitious forecasts made for the first round of seabed leases in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters are going to fall well short. When the Crown Estate unveiled the 11 sites in 2010, it set the developers the challenge of generating 1.6 gigawatts of electricity over the next 10 years – enough to power a million homes. But market condition have conspired to mean that just one development, Atlantis’s trailblazing MeyGen scheme, between the mainland and the island of Stroma, has gone live. The ongoing high cost of marine power, particularly wave energy, has led to the other schemes being put on hold, with no clear timescales. Two of the prospective developers, Aquamarine Power and Pelamis Power, have since gone to the wall. The leases for their sites at Brough Head in Orkney, and Farr Point, in north Sutherland, have since been re-assigned, while Atlantis now has control of two of other sites, at Ness of Duncansby and Brough Ness. The high costs compared to other power sources and the recent failure of Atlantis to secure a guaranteed minimum price for energy produced from its MeyGen site have caused some would-be investors to get cold feet. Industry backers yesterday called for more support for the sector if Scotland’s world lead in marine power is not be lost.
Energy Voice 20th Aug 2018 read more »