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An exciting new project could see renewable energy generated from sea currents off the southern tip of the Rock
10.07.15 - 16:12 -
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Tidal power for Gibraltar
Gibraltar government and Blue Shark Power meet with Minister John Cortes (centre). :: SUR
Gibraltar could see its electricity supply get a green boost after a feasibility study to use marine current turbines got the go-ahead this week.
The ambitious plans would see scores of high-tech turbines placed on the sea floor in several locations around Gibraltar to harness the power of local currents.
Gibraltar would then be able to produce pollution-free renewable energy with no waste whatsoever.
The turbines convert marine currents into electrical power, in the same way that wind turbines convert the energy of the wind.
Blue Shark Power, the French company behind the green plans, is expected to start the study this autumn in waters around the Rock.
Minister for the Environment, Dr John Cortes, said: “The sea provides a vast source of potential energy and as renewable energy technology develops, investments in ocean energy are likely to grow.
“Given our unique and strategic location within the Straits, it is only right that Gibraltar forms part of the global drive to harness our oceans. This Memorandum of Understanding is the first step in what could be one of Gibraltar’s major renewable energy sources in future.”
In addition, the Department of the Environment is already working with the Israeli-based Eco Wave Power, to develop a wave energy project on the east side of Gibraltar.
The possibility of generating green energy in an area notorious for its lack of available space is welcome news for the British Overseas Territory, as it has been suffering from power cuts over the last few years due to under investment in its ageing power infrastructure.
A new £77 million power station is due to be built on land near the Rock’s cruise terminal that has been reclaimed from the sea – and is due to be switched on in 2017.
But in recent weeks there have been several power cuts across the Rock that have left large parts of Gibraltar without power.