Monday, 7 July 2014

WAVE HUB

Last weekend saw the first energy device connected to the giant socket at Wave Hub in Hayle, a real step forward in making Hayle the leading marine energy park in the country and capping off a great few months for the scheme. I have always said that the potential of this industry is massive, because of the amount of energy we could produce and the amount of jobs that could be created in our area. Wave Hub is the first of its kind in the world and is on the way to delivering both these aims.

Seatricity, the renewable resource company involved, actually towed their device all the way from Falmouth before plugging it in to the site. The plan is to eventually have sixty of their devices connected to the hub which will then feedback power to the national grid. For the time being, sea tests need to take place on the first device to make sure it can do the job properly.

The potential of wave has led to hundreds of competing device designs put forward by different companies with the aim of being the most efficient at capturing the most energy from the sea. It is a very different process to traditional fossil fuels or wind turbines and Seatricity's device uses octagonal aluminium floats to capture the energy by pressuring seawater. This in turn drives a turbine to produce electricity and this is channelled back to the coast by Wave Hub's giant "socket" on the sea bed.

Progress at Wave Hub has been really great over the last few months but this follows some criticism that the project was slow to get off the ground. Wave power does carry risk because it is difficult to develop and test out in difficult conditions. That said, the huge potential and the need for a range of sustainable energy sources in the future outweighs those risks. That is why the Government did get behind the project and I pushed for less onerous regulations in Parliament to get things moving.

Now, all three berths for developers have been filled with the most recent by an Australian firm called Carnegie Wave Energy who will start deploying their technology in the coming years. Millions of pounds of funding were also secured last month for the Hayle Marine Business Park, which will become the gateway for the Wave Hub site. The development has the potential to create over one hundred jobs and will further make sure Hayle is established as a world leader in wave technology.

George Eustice can be contacted at george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.