Copenhagen-based firm Wave Star Energy, which has been testing a pilot-scale wave power machine in an inlet on the west coast of Jutland since September 2006, has received DKK 20m (USD 4.25m) in support from the Danish Energy Development & Demonstration Programme (EUDP) to construct a 500 kW version of the machine, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen. The wave power machine will be sited at Horn's Rev, 14 kilometres out in the North Sea.
Wave energy has a number of characteristics to recommend it as part of the renewable energy mix. For one thing, the energy density in waves is much higher than in wind, resulting in less fluctuation in power delivery. For another, wave power naturally compensates in periods when wind power declines. That is because when the wind blows, waves are created, but when the wind drops, the waves continue for several hours.
Wave Star Energy has been highly satisfied with the robustness of its pilot-scale machine. The company's director Per Resen Steenstrup told Børsen: "Our pilot-scale machine has operated for 16,000 hours and has withstood 12 storms. That is something quite unique. It's not about being first with a machine, but about being first to show stable operation out at sea."
This latter comment appears to be a reference to competitors like Britain's Pelamis Wave Power and Denmark's Wave Dragon, which Børsen says are closer to commercial production. Pelamis technology is already being deployed in a wave power farm in Portugal and Wave Dragon is reportedly close to gaining a major order, again from Portugal.
Wave Star Energy's objective is to sell its first machine in 2010, and two more in 2011. Where the machines will be manufactured is dependent on which countries buy the machine, reports Børsen.