Wave power tested in Ria Formosa

The Algarve’s Ria Formosa could be home to an innovative renewable energy project aimed at testing a Scottish prototype device that can generate electricity from the power of waves.

The project is being developed by the University of the Algarve (UAlg) alongside Scottish company Ocean Flow Energy and is now awaiting community funding to move forward.

If all goes well, the device could be used to power the fishing village of Culatra, which is home to around 750 people.

UAlg researcher André Pacheco is adamant that Portugal has all it takes to develop a successful maritime renewable energy industry.

“Ria Formosa’s conditions are just as good as Scotland’s for generating electricity from the waves,” he stressed.

The big difference, he says, is that Portugal “doesn’t invest as much in these renewable technologies.

“You hear so much about the economy of the sea, but there isn’t a big investment in the development of new maritime technologies,” he lamented.

The Ocean Flow Energy project has received private funding as well as “strong support” from the Scottish government.

Although Pacheco admits that wave power can be “expensive to invest in”, he says that many thought the same about wind power, which now is an “expanding industry”.

UAlg and Ocean Flow Energy are now awaiting a decision regarding their bid to receive community funding from the Oceanera programme.