Case Study: Salter's Duck.
Does it matter who funds the research?
Research into wave power began over 30 years ago and initially looked promising. In the 1970’s (Professor) Stephen Salter of Edinburgh University began experiments using a shaped float that bobbed up and down in the waves, which quickly became known as the Salter’s Duck. To this date it is still regarded as the most efficient of any wave power system produced, converting up to 80% of the wave energy to electricity.
The experiments were going well and then in 1982 all the work suddenly stopped. Why?
During the 1970's and 80's almost all of the funding for research into renewable energy came from a organisation that was part of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. In other words, wave research was funded by the regulators of the Nuclear industry.
In 2001, Professor Salter was giving sworn evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee and spoke of the project and how it was suddenly shut down.
I expect that everything was decided [...] with long range control of a committee known as ACORD that was recruited largely from the nuclear and the depletable energy industries.
You can read an account of how the wave duck programme was shut down here.
What do you think actually happened to the research programme and why?