After an initial phase (1974-1983) of great investment and development, but also of great expectation, wave energy entered a phase of some stagnation and loss recovered in the mid-nineties.
In recent years, the increased maturity of wave energy technology gave rise to a number of mainly SME-driven industrial activities that show strong commitment in bringing this technology to the market:
Teamwork Technology/The Netherlands and Oceanergia/Portugal are developing the Archimedes Wave Swing (AWS);
SPOK ApS/Denmark is developing the Wavedragon;
Wavegen/UK developed the Oscillating Water Column (OWC) LIMPET plant;
Ocean Power Delivery (OPD)/UK is developing the Pelamis;
Energetech/Australia is developing the parabolic entry OWC;
Ramboll/Denmark and Aquaenergy/USA are developing the Aquabuoy;
Enerwave/Portugal is developing an overtopping breakwater - integrated shoreline plant;
Electricidade de Portugal and Electricidade dos Açores and Efacec participated in the development of the OWC Pico plant in the Azores.
As a result of this involvement, four pilot plants of three different technologies are, or have been, under testing at the sea:
Two shoreline Oscillating Water Column (OWC) plants built in the Azores (Pico 400 kW) and Islay in Scotland (Limpet 500 kW)
Two MW offshore AWS pilot plant ( tested offshore Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, 2004),
1:4.5th scale Wavedragon plant (under testing in the Baltic Sea) and
Pelamis (to be tested offshore Póvoa de Varzim).
The next two years will show how these pilot plants perform in real seas and how much we can expect from the corresponding technology.
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