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Wavegen Limited
Industry Engineering
Founded1990 (1990)
FounderAllan Thomson
Defunct2013 (2013)
Key people
Matthew Seed (CEO)
Products Limpet wave energy converters
Parent Voith Hydro
Website www.wavegen.co.uk   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Wavegen Limited (later Voith Hydro Wavegen Limited) was a wave energy company based in Inverness, Scotland. It was founded in 1990 by Allan Thomson. [1] It was sold to Voith Hydro in 2005, and they closed the company in 2013.

Wave power Transport of energy by wind waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work

Wave power is the capture of energy of wind waves to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or pumping water. A machine that exploits wave power is a wave energy converter (WEC).

Inverness City in the Scottish Highlands, Scotland, UK

Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for The Highland Council and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands. Inverness lies near two important battle sites: the 11th-century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway which took place on the Aird and the 18th century Battle of Culloden which took place on Culloden Moor. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom and lies within the Great Glen at its north-eastern extremity where the River Ness enters the Moray Firth. At the latest, a settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim in the 12th century. The Gaelic king Mac Bethad Mac Findláich (MacBeth) whose 11th-century killing of King Duncan was immortalised in Shakespeare's largely fictionalized play Macbeth, held a castle within the city where he ruled as Mormaer of Moray and Ross.

Scotland Country in Northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.



In 2000, Wavegen became the first company in the world to connect a commercial scale wave energy device (LIMPET) to the grid on the Scottish island of Islay. [2] The LIMPET (Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer) is a shoreline device which produces power from an oscillating water column.

Wave farm installment of one or several wave power devices in one place

A wave farm – or wave power farm or wave energy park – is a collection of machines in the same location and used for the generation of wave power electricity. Wave farms can be either offshore or nearshore, with the former the most promising for the production of large quantities of electricity for the grid. The first wave farm was constructed in Portugal, the Aguçadoura Wave Farm, consisting of three Pelamis machines. The world's largest is planned for Scotland.


Islay LIMPET was the world's first commercial wave power device and was connected to the United Kingdom's National Grid.

In May 2005, Wavegen was bought by Voith Hydro, a subsidiary of Voith. [3]

The Voith Group, which is headquartered in Germany, is a family-owned multinational corporation in the mechanical engineering sector as well as the automation and IIoT business with worldwide operations.

Together with the Faroe's power company SEV, Wavegen had planned to develop the SeWave wave energy plant project in Nípanin in the Faroe Islands. [4] It was also the developer of the Siadar Wave Energy Project. [5]

SEV (company) company

SEV is a power producer and distributor on the Faroe Islands. The company name is derived from the names of islands Streymoy, Eysturoy and Vágar, which established the company on 1 October 1946. All municipalities in Vágar, all in Eysturoy except for Sjóvar municipality and all municipalities in Streymoy except for Tórshavn, Kvívík and Kollafjørður met at the first establishing meeting. Later all municipalities in the Faroe Islands joined SEV. In 2015 60% of the produced electricity of SEV came from green energy sources, 17,8% came from the windmills in Neshagi and Húsahagi, 42,3% came was hydropower.

SeWave is a wave farm project in Nípanin, Faroe Islands. The project is developed by the joint venture of the Scottish wave energy developer Wavegen and the Faroe's power company SEV.

Faroe Islands Archipelago in the North Atlantic and an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Denmark

The Faroe Islands, or the Faeroe Islands, is a North Atlantic archipelago located 320 kilometres (200 mi) north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway and Iceland. It is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. The islands have a total area of about 1,400 square kilometres (540 sq mi) with a population of 51,783 as of June 2019.

On 17 November 2011, Wavegen put into operation the world's first commercial full life Limpet wave power plant. The 300-kW plant was sold to Ente Vasco de la Energía in Spain. [5]

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

In March 2013 Voith Hydro decided to close down Wavegen choosing to concentrate on tidal power projects. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Tidal power Technology to convert the energy from tides into useful forms of power

Tidal power or tidal energy is the form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity.

Portnahaven village in the United Kingdom

Portnahaven is a village on Islay in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. The village is within the parish of Kilchoman.

The Pelamis Wave Energy Converter was a technology that used the motion of ocean surface waves to create electricity. The machine was made up of connected sections which flex and bend as waves pass; it is this motion which is used to generate electricity.

Renewable energy in Scotland

The production of renewable energy in Scotland is an issue that has come to the fore in technical, economic, and political terms during the opening years of the 21st century. The natural resource base for renewable energy is extraordinary by European, and even global standards, with the most important potential sources being wind, wave, and tide.

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) Ltd is a UKAS accredited test and research centre focusing on wave and tidal power development based in the Orkney Islands, UK. The Centre provides developers with the opportunity to test full-scale grid-connected prototype devices in unrivalled wave and tidal conditions. The operations are spread over five sites:

Marine energy or marine power refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity, and ocean temperature differences. The movement of water in the world’s oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy, or energy in motion. Some of this energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes, transport and industries.

Aquamarine Power was a wave energy company, which was founded in 2005 to commercialise a wave energy device concept known as the Oyster wave energy converter. The company's head offices were based in Edinburgh. The company had further operations in Orkney, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United States. Its chief executive officer was Martin McAdam, who joined the company in 2008. The company was advised by Trevor Whittaker, inventor of the Oyster concept, and Stephen Salter, inventor of the Salter's Duck. The company ceased to trade on 20 November 2015.

Trevor Whittaker FREng is Professor of coastal engineering at Queen's University, Belfast having been awarded a personal chair in 1993. He was elected a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2002. He is specialist adviser to the board of Aquamarine Power, a company formed to commercially develop the Oyster wave energy converter.

Tidal stream generator a type of tidal power generation technology

A tidal stream generator, often referred to as a tidal energy converter (TEC), is a machine that extracts energy from moving masses of water, in particular tides, although the term is often used in reference to machines designed to extract energy from run of river or tidal estuarine sites. Certain types of these machines function very much like underwater wind turbines, and are thus often referred to as tidal turbines. They were first conceived in the 1970s during the oil crisis.

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  1. Bain, Simon (24 May 2001). "Market listing for Wavegen #5m investment will help Scots company roll out internationally". Herald Scotland . Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  2. "Islay". Columbia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  3. "Buyout saves wave power company". BBC News . 24 May 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  4. "Clean energy - that never fades". SeWave. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  5. 1 2 "Inverness firm hands over the world's first full life wave power plant". The Inverness Courier. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  6. "City job losses as giant utility firm pulls out". The Inverness Courier. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.