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Chinese Uni to test tidal power turbine for EU marine energy initiative

Harbin Engineering University plan to deploy 200kW horizontal-axis turbine in East China Sea as part of international ocean energy group OES

The tidal power turbine is just one in a series of ocean energy projects being deployed along the coast of China

A Chinese university has announced it plans to test a tidal power turbine as part of a marine energy initiative headed in the EU. At an international Executive Committee meeting of Portugal based group Ocean Energy Systems (OES) in Guangzhou, Chinese hosts announced their intention to deploy the 200kW horizontal-axis turbine in the East China Sea. The project is being developed by Harbin Engineering University in China.

The project is just one in a series of ocean energy projects that are being deployed along the coast of China with support from national R&D funding programs. It is part of the National Plan for Islands Protection to use marine renewable energy to improve the sustainability of remote islands.

International technology initiative OES is an intergovernmental collaboration between countries, which operates under framework established by the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Mr. José Luis Villate, chairman of the OES, said: "Energy from the ocean is perpetual, renewable and carbon free, it is the perfect and obvious source of clean, renewable power for remote communities such as those of the islands off China. We are both delighted and impressed that the Chinese are looking to exploit this amazing resource".

The first 100kW wave energy unit of the 500kW demonstration project on Dawanshan Island, by Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, was deployed on in April. A 120kW wave buoy developed by Shandong University has also been operational nearly half a year operating off Hailv Island. Meanwhile, a 10kW wave device developed by Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, has been operational for five months near the Wanshan Island.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is another area of marine energy that has got attention and a 15kW pilot plant was tested for five months in 2012. OTEC is becoming a key area of development in China. In April this year, US and Chinese firms announced they are working together to develop a world leading 10MW ocean thermal energy power plant in the BRIC country.

Through OES China is working with 20 other countries in collaborative research, development and demonstration of conversion technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources. These include tides, waves, currents, temperature gradient and salinity gradient for electricity generation. China has been a member of OES since 2011.