LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - French engineering group Alstom may install roughly 100 megawatts of wave power by 2020, its Ocean Energy Director Philippe Gilson estimated.
Alstom announced this week that it had bought a 40 percent stake in Scottish wave power developer AWS Ocean Energy, in one of the first cases of a large company entering the fledgling sector.
Wave power is behind tidal power in a marine energy sector which in turn lags maturing renewable power technologies such as wind and solar.
On a 40-year time scale, however, the world could develop as much as 300 gigawatts of power from the movement of waves, equivalent to about double Germany’s entire power generating capacity, Alstom said.
The French company’s hydro division, where the company’s ocean energy is based, is aiming for a 20 percent global market share, which implied tens of gigawatts of installed base for wave power in the long-run, said Gilson.
“For 2020 we hope we can get close to 100 megawatts installed base,” he added, referring to that as a “guesstimate”.
“Wind was in the same situation 30 years ago. During 10 or 15 years not much happened and then suddenly exponential growth happened for a number of factors. These things take time.”
He expected AWS Ocean Energy to achieve a full-scale test of a 2.5 megawatt model within the next three years.