Japan Tests a New Way of Harvesting Tidal Energy

SeaGen - world's first commercial tidal generator in Strangford Lough Northern Ireland (Creative Commons / Fundy)

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond announced the a Japanese firm – Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) plans to test a new methods of harvesting tidal energy at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), a research center in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, UK.

KHI said it would use its “expertise in engines, marine propulsion and gas turbines systems” to bring forth a tidal-power generation system.

A spokesman for the company announced, “With its technological wealth and brand prowess, (KHI) group strives to protect the global environment and contribute to the development of a sustainable society. This is the philosophy that guides the KHI Group’s operations”.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) is known for manufacturing aircraft, marine vessels and power plants and consumer products like Kawasaki motorcycles and Jet SkiR watercraft.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said that the news is “a very welcome recognition of Scotland’s vast marine renewables potential”. He also added that “Japan is one of the great industrial nations of the world and I am encouraged that it shares Scotland’s vision of building on a strong engineering heritage to harness our natural resources and generate clean, renewable power that can reduce harmful emissions and tackle global climate change.”

The operations at the research center, concentrating on wave and tidal power development is spread over three sites – Billia Croo (wave power), Fall of Warness, off the island of Eday (tidal power) and Stromness (office and data facilities). Kawasaki Heavy Industries will perform the tests at the Fall of Warness site. The EMEC hopes to manage 10 prototype wave and tidal energy systems by the end of 2011. The center already owns one wave system in 2004 and tidal energy system in 2006.

Recently, the Scottish government announced its decision to end subsidy support for biomass plants and increasing it for tidal and wave energy projects to assist in further development of the sector.

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9 Responses to Japan Tests a New Way of Harvesting Tidal Energy

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