Electricity from the sea is no longer a vision: the future has already begun off the coast of the Orkney Isles in the North of Scotland where the world’s largest wave test facility has been installed near the small port of Stromness, a site which was not picked for its rugged views and primeval landscapes but because it has the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, if not the world.
Huge hopes have been placed in the eco-friendly plant dubbed “Oyster” which transforms the energy produced by the waves into electricity. This incredible feat is achieved by means of flap gates anchored to the seabed which pump seawater from 10m long yellow pipes floating half a kilometre off the coast in the Atlantic through a turbine installed on land to the rhythm of the waves.
Now that the first contracts allowing sea areas to be used to generate electricity have been awarded, the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, already predicts that Scotland will one day be “the Saudi Arabia of marine energy”. In fact of the ten licences that were issued worldwide, nine were specifically for areas off the Orkney Isles.
The project is an extremely ambitious one: one of the intermittent targets that has been set is to provide 350,00 households with electricity derived from this power source by the year 2020. So just how realistic are these plans? Neil Kermode, managing director of the European Marine Energy Centre Ltd, the company providing the marine-based energy technology, has his doubts. He believes that these are still early days compared to other renewable energy alternatives like wind farming. He puts this partly down to underfunding, pointing out that it is not only seawater but also money that needs to be pumped into the project for it to succeed on such a scale.
So until the necessary steps have been taken to ensure that this revolutionary new form of inexhaustible and therefore hopefully more affordable energy is made available to people not only in the outer corners of Scotland, but also all over the world, we, the consumer, will have to continue to cut back on the amount of electricity we are using to keep our electricity bills in check. What a better a way to do this than with the BX11 energy meter, the easy-to-use, plug-in-and-monitor energy-saving device that can knock £100s of pounds off your energy bill by unearthing the greedy little appliances around your home that gobble up electricity even when they are in stand-by so that you can do something about changing your own little cosmos.
Buy a BX 11 energy meter today and make a statement that will also make a difference on your bank statement.