The New York Times has published a review of the status of wave energy projects around the world and has concluded that the next three years will be critical with around thirty projects expected to start operation.
Among these, the proposed provision of up to $250 million to Australia’s Carnegie Wave Energy for a pilot poject of its Ceto technology will be the second largest ever financial commitment to a wave energy project worldwide. The finance, from Investec Bank is subject to a number of conditions including the securing of a government grant.
The largest financial commitment to a wave energy project was Australia’s Babcock and Brown’s 77 percent share of the Aguçadoura wave park off Portugal. Four months after it began generating power, the project ran into technical difficulties that required its three energy converters to be removed from the sea. The manufacturers, Pelamis, blamed this on “excessive wear on bearings” and have since identified a solution and are manufacturing a new version of the machine in Scotland. Following Babcock and Brown’s collapse, its share in the project was sold to the Portuguese utility Energias de Portugal and the engineering company Efacec.
Other wave energy projects include Ocean Energy, which has completed a two-and-a-half-year test period in Ireland, where its quarter-scale device has consistently produced electricity from waves.
Aquamarine Power, a Scottish company, has installed its Oyster wave energy prototype at the European Marine Energy Center. This is a full-scale unit but the company says that it will need two more "iterations" before it is fully operational.
Oregon State University has received funding to establish the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center in Newport, Oregon. The center is designing a full-scale ocean energy project to be deployed in 2011.