Minesto launches first water power plant units to harness marine energy
Countries across the globe are grappling with energy supply problems, and many leaders are putting the issue at the top of their agenda heading into this winter. Swedish startup Minesto sees untapped potential in the energy of tidal currents, and is aiming to expand the possibilities within the clean energy sector.
The company develops kite-shaped underwater units to turn water currents in the ocean into electricity. This summer, Minesto launched its first tidal “Dragon 4” power plant in the Faroe Islands, as part of its work to help the country hit its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
“The goal by 2030 is to provide half of the electricity needs on the islands,” Minesto CEO Martin Edlund said. “The combination of wind and small-scale hydro will give them the opportunity to build a hundred percent renewable energy system.”
The Gothenburg-based startup’s technology generates electricity from ocean currents similar to a kite flying in the wind. The kite is connected by a tether to the seabed, and is autonomously steered in a figure-eight which pushes the turbine through the water. The company says its technology can be installed in areas where no other technology can operate effectively.
Edlund says there is about €115 million in total invested in Minesto, and the company has taken advantage of serious capital injections from grant-based funding, the Swedish Energy Agency, and more. The company was also listed on the Nasdaq First North in 2016.
Industry leaders turn to marine energy as a solution to climate change
Experts say the current volatile and high energy prices result from a combination of supply and demand factors over the course of several months and years. The International Energy Agency says investments in oil and natural gas have declined, and governments haven’t been aggressive enough to scale up clean energy sources and technologies in response.
Analysts and companies like Minesto see the ocean and marine energy playing a more significant shift though, as countries get more serious on climate change. Minesto says its small-scale systems will be able to have an impact on off-grid and coastal communities around the world.
“Minesto’s technology has a critical role to play towards a sustainable use of the ocean and hence a rising business opportunity in the growing Blue Economy movement,” Edlund said.
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