Marine device pumps up South West

A new marine power device is set to make waves in the renewable industry, according to its developers Ecotricity. They say that it could potentially produce electricity cheaper than any […]

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By Tom Gibson

A new marine power device is set to make waves in the renewable industry, according to its developers Ecotricity. They say that it could potentially produce electricity cheaper than any other renewable energy.

The announcement coincides with the move by DECC to make the South West of England a hub for Marine Energy technology.

Searaser, the brainchild of Devon engineer Alvin Smith, harnesses the power of ocean swells to create electricity. It pumps seawater using a piston between two buoys – one on the surface of the water, the other suspended underwater. As the sea rises and falls the piston pumps seawater up a pipe to a reservoir onshore. The water can then be released to fall back down to a turbine to create electricity.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “We believe Searaser has the potential to produce electricity at a lower cost than any other type energy, not just other forms of renewable energy but all ‘conventional’ forms of energy too.”

Because the pump allows the water to be stored and used as and when it is needed, Ecotricity thinks the Searaser will succesfully deal with intermittent electricity supplies- one of the major negative issues facing the renewable sector.