UK Offshore Energy Projects Get Royal Nod

The Crown Estate, the public body which owns most of the coastal waters around the U.K., has announced three leasing agreements for offshore wave and tidal energy projects.

The projects have been granted a lease in connection with the Scottish Government’s Saltire Prize, a £10 million (about $16.1 million) global prize that will be awarded to whichever wave or tidal technology that generates the greatest volume of electrical output over 100 gigawatt-hours over a continuous two-year period using only the power of the sea.

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image via Vattenfall

The three agreements for leasing were granted for:

  • Voith Hydro Wavegen for its Siadar project in the Western Isles.
  • Tidal Energy have been awarded rights to develop sites off St David’s Head in Pembrokeshire in Wales.
  • Pulse Tidal has got the go-ahead for wave energy project near Lynmouth in Devon, in Southwest England.

The Crown Estate said the agreements allowed the companies to proceed further in development, consulting local stakeholders and preparing applications to obtain consents from the relevant government departments of Scotland, Wales and England.

If consents are granted the agreements will be turned into full leases for construction and operation.

The Crown Estate is a public body set up to oversee the lands belonging to the Queen, who owns a number of large estates, significant areas of London as well as majority of the coastal waters. Although the British royal family retain ownership of the lands administered by the Crown Estate, profits from those lands are returned to the British government.

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.