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Government to fund giant underwater energy plant

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The government has announced it will come up with almost a quarter of the funds needed to help turn the Cornish coast into a giant underwater energy plant.
The Wave Hub scheme has been spearheaded by the South West England Regional development agency (SWRDA) and will see four wave energy devices connected via underwater cable to the National Grid. The cable would come ashore at Hayle in Cornwall. It is estimated the cost of getting the hub into the water and connected to the mainland will be around £20m. However, the DTI Marine Renewables Deployment Fund will offer £4.5m in funding if the project is given the go-ahead.
“As an island nation, the UK has an invaluable resource in terms of marine energy and we are leading the world in developing the infrastructure to harness the power of the seas. The cash injection underlines the government’s ongoing commitment to finding renewable energy sources,” explained Minister for Energy Malcolm Wicks.
“If the programme is successful, it will be a shinning example of UK innovation that could provides as much as 3% of Cornwall’s electricity needs,” he added.
According to Jane Henderson, chief executive of the SWRDA, the announcement was a milestone for the project.
“The funding recognises the important contribution the Wave Hub project will make to the South West and the UK as a whole. We are now awaiting the outcome of our consent application. If that is granted, we expect Wave Hub to come into operation in 2008,” added Henderson.
Consultation with stakeholders for the Wave Hub consent application finished on 1 September. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

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