Valdimar Össurarson runs a company called Valorka, which has designed a marine electric turbine by the same name. The generator won first prize at the International Inventors’ Awards 2011. The company hopes its turbine will create a steady and reliable supply of electricity.
Valdimar told Vísir.is that he thinks it is worrying how little research has been done into the sea’s potential energy around Iceland. Most marine research in Iceland seems to be about aquaculture (fish farming) and harbour construction, he says.
He adds, however, that there is a extremely large amount of exploitable energy in the sea which is not yet being tapped. “The Irish have made a good estimate of the total amount of energy they have. They believe they could generate 240 terawatt hours a year and if we translate that over to Iceland by size that that would make 330 terawatt hours a year. That is around twenty-times the amount of energy we are using today,” Valdimar says.
Valorka has conducted pre-tests on its turbine and plans more this summer; probably off the Snæfellsnes peninsula. If the trials go well then a prototype will be made of a completely underwater turbine design. According to its owner, “Valorka is a world leader in trying to harness offshore ocean currents”.