Paris, June 22, 2011 — Alstom has taken a 40 percent equity share in Scottish renewable energy company AWS Ocean Energy, representing Alstom's entry to the wave energy market. Alstom will be a shareholder alongside Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 and Scottish Investment Bank, who continue their support of AWS.
Wave energy, like tidal energy, is carbon-free and has the greatest potential of all existing marine technologies with a worldwide resource estimated between 200 and 300 GW.
Created in 2004, AWS Ocean Energy is currently focusing on the development and delivery of its AWS-III wave energy converter, a floating device with a rated power output of 2.5 MW.
Support from the Scottish Enterprise-administered Wave and Tidal Energy: Research, Development and Demonstration Support fund enabled a 1:9 scale model of the AWS-III to be tested in Loch Ness in 2010.
The AWS-III system is a 12-sided floating device that sits on the surface of the ocean and uses the action of the waves to produce electricity. The rising and falling motion of the waves forces air forward and backwards through a number of air turbines installed inside the device. The turbines are directly connected to generators that produce electricity.
Scotland is at the forefront of marine energy development, creating the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney in 2003, and with over 1.6 GW of lease already awarded for tidal and wave projects in Scottish waters. The Scottish First Minister has recently announced the target to produce the equivalent of at least 100 percent of Scotland's electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020.
Portugal, Spain and France are also showing interest in marine energy and wave energy in particular.