The Institute, an industry and government partnership, was set up in 2006 to promote research into low-carbon technologies (ENDS Report 380, p 11 ).
Six firms - BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Eon, Rolls-Royce and Shell - have pledged to spend £5 million a year for 10 years. This funding will be matched by government. The four projects, which have received a total of £20 million, are:
Project ReDEPT: A consortium led by Rolls-Royce will test a 1MW tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. This device is being developed by Tidal Generation Ltd - a company Rolls-Royce holds a 23.5% stake in.Project Deepwater Turbine: A consortium including BAE Systems will undertake a feasibility study for a 5MW floating wind turbine for deep waters. If a turbine can be designed that does not need to be attached to the seabed, it should be cheaper and easier to install.Project Helm Wind: A consortium led by Eon will design an offshore wind turbine with improved reliability compared to conventional designs. Few details are available on this project.Project Nova: The only scheme not involving any of the six partners, this will assess the feasibility of a novel offshore wind turbine that consists of a pair of V-shaped wings that swing around a central axis. The turbine should be more rugged, and simpler to maintain, than conventional turbines.
The project is led by Guildford-based OTM Consulting and also involves Cranfield, Strathclyde and Sheffield universities. The consortium hopes for a demonstrator to be installed within six years.