Industry players launch Australian tidal and wave taskforce

MAKO tidal turbine (Photo: MAKO Tidal Turbines)

Nine tidal and wave energy companies have joined forces to launch a new taskforce set to accelerate the commercialization of marine renewable energy technologies in Australia.

The taskforce, named Australian Marine Energy Taskforce (AMET), is made up of Atlantis Resources, Bombora Wave Power, BioPower Systems, MAKO Tidal Turbines, Open Hydro, Protean Energy, Tenax Energy, Wave Rider and Wave Swell Energy.

The companies plan to spend additional Au$46 million to advance the sector in the following two years, that would add to Au$24.5 million spent by a relatively small number of companies in the past two years, AMET said.

Stephanie Thornton, AMET’s Honorary Secretary, said: “The launch of our industry body coincides with the recent announcement of a federal government ARENA funded Au$5.85 million project to map Australia’s tidal energy potential, the Western Australia government’s Au$19.5 million commitment to develop a Wave Energy Centre in Albany and completion of the Wave Energy Atlas by CSIRO.

“This state and federal government support underpins Australia’s commitment to embrace marine energy as part of Australia’s renewable energy mix. These publicly funded initiatives will provide scientific validation of the energy potential from Australia’s wave and tidal resources.”

AMET also informed it is working to produce a commercialization plan which will define specific actions needed to lower the barriers to development and bring marine energy to maturity in Australia.

The action plan is expected to lead to commercial application of wave and tidal energy technologies in local energy generation projects, reduce costs and expand export market opportunities.

It will define the place for marine energy in Australia’s energy supply and outline the investment rationale. Also, a range of technical, economic, policy, legal, research, financial, market and organisational topics will be combined to form a cohesive strategic approach to growth, AMET said.

The taskforce anticipates the plan will ensure that finite resources are devoted to the highest-priority, highest-impact actions in the near term while laying the groundwork for long-term growth.