Limpet, Islay, Scotland

Limpet stands for Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer. The Limpet device began operating in 2004, and was the first wave power project in the UK. Waves push air into a gully, and out through a turbines, each connected to a 250 kW generator. It is built into the shore, and has financial backing from the EU.

Advantages

  • Renewable
  • No pollutant chemicals
  • Cheap running costs
  • The machines are low-lying and do not spoil landscapes
  • The UK has a lot of coastline and powerful waves from the Atlantic Ocean

Disadvantages

  • Needs windy coastal areas
  • Unpredictable and depends on the weather
  • Produces noise pollution
  • Storms can damage the machines
  • Rust, seaweed and barnacles can also damage it

Viability

  • Wavegen says there could be sufficient renewable wave power aroudn the UK to generate enough electric power to exceed the domestic electricity demands
  • Some research suggests less than 0.1% of the renewable energy within the oceans could supply five times the global demand for energy
  • On shore or near shore plants could be designed as part of the harbour walls or water-breakers, performing a dual role for a community
  • Islay island, where Limpet was built, is now self-sufficient for energy
  • Islay now no longer needs fossil fuels. This is especially useful because energy is not always reliable in remote areas such as Islay.
  • The building has provided income for local hotels and related businesses due to media interest, which has helped the unemployment rates
  • The project was built to withstand winter storms

(Image Sources: http://www.esru.strath.ac.uk/EandE/Web_sites/01-02/RE_info/wave%20power.htm )

 

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