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Minister boosts tidal power

Tidal power has taken a step towards reality with a grant of US$1.6M from the UK government.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will provide the funding to support the development of a full-scale Stingray device prototype, which generates electricity from the oscillatory movement of hydroplanes driven by flowing current. A farm of Stingrays would convert tidal movement into electricity on a commercial scale.

UK-based Business Engineering will develop and manufacture the Stingray, which will be put into operation off the coast of Scotland. The device will sit on the seabed, reducing the need to protect it from stormy weather.

Energy minister Brian Wilson announced the funding, saying that the device was ‘technologically impressive’ and possibly a solution to the challenge of harnessing wave energy economically.

‘All too often, clever British ideas have not manifested into the manufacture and, finally, the distribution of the final product. I am determined not to let this happen again. that is why, on top of the government’s initial money to research the feasibility of the concept, I have today allocated this grant to see the project through to completion,’ he added.