Tuesday 3 February 2015

Barriers posed by the investment environment

There has been a reluctance to put concerns about systemic barriers to wave energy into writing. Even the most bold writing on this topic, by Jochem Weber, Richard Yemm, Andrew Garrad, and the ORE Catapult, has been guarded, under-emphasising any actions of device developers and investors which could have hindered the development progress. I believe that what is holding back an open discussion of what has gone wrong with wave energy in the last decade, is a concern about 'poisoning the waters'. In particular, there are concerns about blame, a negative impact on the industry by chipping away at the collective confidence required to get a critical mass of support, and a negative impact on individual device developers who depend on this collective confidence.

This post sets out my opinions about the systemic barriers that have hampered wave energy. I have decided to break with the tradition of under-emphasising key problems because I believe the concerns about poisoning the waters are misplaced: I hope to show that the waters are already poisoned, and the source was a poisoned chalice.