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Wave Power

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether his Department has any plans to increase the national expenditure on research into methods of harnessing the energy in sea waves.

On 29th April 1976, in reply to a Question from my hon. Friend I announced a two-year study to assess the feasibility of extracting energy from waves around Britain's coast. This work is being carried out under the guidance of an Interdepartmental Wave Energy Steering Committee (WESC). The progress so far has been very encouraging and the committee has therefore under-taken a complete review of the programme to see whether increased expenditure would be justified. It has now recommended that the programme should be increased from £1·01 million in January 1976 prices to £2·5 million in January 1977 prices. My right hon. Friend's Advisory Council on Research and Development (ACORD) has endorsed the recommendation and we have accepted it.The revised programme will take the development further than was originally planned—including larger-scale model work and more generic work—and will provide a better base for judgment on the next phase of the development in the autumn of 1978.