Shetland wavepower project unaffected by Vattenfall downsizing

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Swedish power company Vattenfall has said its decision to downsize operations in the UK should not jeopardise its £60 million Shetland wavepower project.

Vattenfall announced this week it is to divest non-strategic business interests and concentrate instead on increasing profits from its core markets of Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

The company said the change of direction marked a period of consolidation in the face of a weaker market outlook. It is cutting capital expenditure over the next five years from £18.6 billion to £15.3 billion.

Asked whether there was a risk to the Aegir venture, which is a partnership with Pelamis in Scotland, a Vattenfall spokes­woman said the company did not see that its revised strategic direction would have an impact, adding that renewables remained one of Vattenfall’s top priorities.

Aegir hopes to site up to 26 Pelamis P2 wave machines between Burra and Spiggie to begin generating power in 2014. The project depends on Viking Energy going ahead with its windfarm to provide an electricity interconnector cable laid to the Scottish mainland.

Today Vattenfall opened the world’s largest offshore windfarm, the 100-turbine Thanet windfarm off England’s south-east coast. The 300 megawatt complex has the potential to power 200,000 homes.

Thanet takes the UK’s installed windpower capacity to over five gigawatts which, accord­ing to the UK energy minister Chris Huhne at the opening ceremony, is enough electricity to power all the homes in Scotland.

He said: “We are in a unique position to become a world leader in this industry. We are an island nation and I firmly believe we should be harnessing our wind, wave and tidal resources to the maximum.”


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