A wave power energy scheme behind a green project off the Shetland coast has been shelved, marking a set-back for isles’ renewables.
Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has concluded a six-month review of its ocean-energy interests, and has opted to focus its investment on wind energy instead.
The company says its research and development team in Stockholm will maintain a “watching brief” on the wave power sector.
Vattenfall and marine renewable company Pelamis Wave Power (PWP) are major shareholders of Aegir Wave Power Ltd, which was behind a 10MW wave power pilot a few miles off Bigton.
But doubt was cast on the project in November when Pelamis entered administration. Now, an announcement has been made that Aegir is being wound up.
Pelamis, meanwhile, has been sold by administrators to Wave Energy Scotland, which has taken over PWP’s assets and hardware.
The move now means a memorandum of understanding reached with the council and charitable trust in 2012 to jointly develop the potential of ocean energy around the islands is being reviewed.
Vattenfall’s Bjorn Bolund said: “In 2009 when we launched Aegir with PWP we had high hopes for wave power off Shetland.
“Unfortunately the wave sector has not developed as planned. Set against Vattenfall’s pressing need to decarbonise our own power supply it has proved difficult to continue investing heavily in wave power in the absence of a commercial technology.”
Mr Bolund said Vattenfall continued to have an interest in Scotland’s wave energy sector.
“Vattenfall’s six-month review of our work in the wave power sector concluded that there remains long term potential – not least because of the strong support provided by the Scottish government and the unrivalled resource off the Scottish coast – and so we will watch the sector very carefully in the hope that there will be progress toward securing a commercial technology.
“The voluntary liquidation of Aegir is a logical outcome of our six month review and the recent delays experienced by the sector.”