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Wave Power

Volume 80: debated on Thursday 13 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) what funding is earmarked in 1985–86 for the development of wave power; and how this compares with each year since 1979;(2) how much has been spent on developing alternative power sources from

(a) waves and (b) geothermal energy since 1979.

Expenditure by my Department on wave and geothermal energy since 1979–80 was as follows:

Wave £ million Geothermal £ million
* Estimate.

have been shown to have considerable economic potential now, but others which at present we consider to be in the promising but uncertain category, may eventually show greater potential.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what percentage of all United Kingdom power requirements is forecast to be produced from alternative power sources by 1999 and 2009; and if he will make a statement.

Projections of the contribution that aternative energies might make to United Kingdom power requirements by the year 2010 are given in the Department of Energy's proof of evidence for the Sizewell B public inquiry as up to 8 million tonnes of coal equivalent per annum.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will provide a breakdown of expenditure on alternative energy resources; and how this compares with figures for the last 10 years.

Total expenditure by my Department on renewable energy in 1985–86 is forecast to be £14 million. Actual expenditure from 1975–76 to 1984–85 was as follows:My Department's funding on wave energy research in 1985-86 is expected to be approximately £300,000.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what information he has as to progress made in Norway with a wave power station and its projected operating costs; and if he will make a statement.

My Department is in touch with the current Norwegian wave energy work which is based on the installation in 1986 of two different devices, each with a capacity of approximately 350kW.The Norwegian manufacturers' present estimates for follow-up stations at cliff sites similar to those being used in Norway lie in the range 3–4p/kWh.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy what is the best present estimated cost of a kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by wave power; and how this compares with the best performance of coal-fired power stations.

Consultants' assessments made for my Department conclude that there is a low probability of wave energy for large-scale power generation in the United Kingdom achieving an energy cost below 8p/kWh.

According to the latest CEGB update of its booklet "Analysis of Generation Costs," the cost of generation from a future coal fired station is just over 4p/kWh.

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when it is anticipated that a wave power prototype will be in place.

Wave energy is not sufficiently attractive in the United Kingdom at present to justify the funding of a wave energy prototype. However, the Department remains receptive to new ideas which could lead to the major cost reductions required.