§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy what steps the Government are taking to investigate and promote the use of oscillating water columns for electricity generation, and how much money has been spent on this area to date.
§ Mr. Michael Spicer
A major element of the Department of Energy's programme of research and development into small scale wave energy is the development of an oscillating water column—Wells turbine shoreline rock gully device invented by Queen's224W University, Belfast. At a cost of £308,000 my Department has funded research and construction of an experimental prototype on the island of Islay. I announced to the House on 23 March that the next phase of the project, to in stall an air driven power turbine and generator, will now proceed, subject to contract, on the basis of the data acquired so far.