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Wave power cost estimates triple

GENERATING ENERGY by marine technologies will cost up to three times more than originally thought, the Royal Academy of Engineers said this week.

New figures produced for the Academy by Parsons Brinckerhoff show wave power to have trebled in cost from 6.5p/kWh to 22p/kWh since its investigation into generating costs in March 2004 (NCE 18 March 2004).

The jump in cost stems from a change in approach. The first study looked at a future potential whereas the latest considers costs on today's market.

The cost of tidal power has doubled from 6.5p/kWh to 12.5p/kWh over the same period.

British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) marine renewables development manager Michael Hay said the new figures were closer to the real cost of marine, but stressed the focus should be on the technology's future potential.

The Costs of Generating Electricity shows coal to be the cheapest energy source, at 2.3p/kWh.

According to Parsons Brinckerhoff, nuclear power costs are on a par with gas, at around 2.8p/kWh. Onshore wind is almost twice as expensive, at 5.4p/kWh.

Despite the disappointing fiures, the BWEA insisted that over three million homes will be wind powered by 2010.

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