Scotland awards £7m to wave energy innovators
The Scottish Government-funded Wave Energy Scotland (WES) has allocated £7m to 16 wave energy developers to help them commercialise their technologies.
Contracts ranged from £78,000 for concept optimisation, up to £2m for later stage prototype development.
This is the first round of contracts awarded by WES – a Scottish Government-funded organisation, set up last year to support the development of wave energy technology.
Projects that received funding included feasibility studies for adapting technology from the wind and automobile sectors, and finding more efficient ways of converting wave energy into electricity.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing commented: ‘‘This is a hugely significant day for WES. It is running the biggest technology programme the wave sector has ever seen.
“Since the launch last year, there has been global interest in what the new organisation was planning to do. Therefore I am delighted to see the first contracts being awarded to technology developers.
“Scottish businesses are involved in the overwhelming majority of the projects and this is testament to the number of innovative companies operating in Scotland.
Companies from the USA, Italy and Switzerland also earned contracts.
Riding the wave
Trade group Scottish Renewables welcomed the outcome of the competition, particularly the ‘dominance’ of Scottish companies.
"Scotland has long led the development of wave energy and the results of the first round of international, competitive calls shows us continuing to hold that pioneering position within a truly global industry,” said Lindsay Leask, a senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables
"The collaborative nature of the projects is also really exciting. The industry has recognised for some time that a more collaborative approach to solving key technical problems is vital to ensure wave energy devices can develop to commercial scale. WES was designed to create a space for that to happen, and here we can see that vision becoming a reality."
A report released in January by the journal Renewable Energy claimed that large-scale wave energy is comparatively more reliable, consistent and potentially cheaper than other forms of energy generation, including wind power.
The full list of companies that received funding can be found here.