Scotland boosts marine power funding

Scotland has increased its funding for wave and tidal power by £5m to meet demand, bringing total investment in the sector up to £13m.

The money will be shared out between nine projects aimed at developing new or improving existing marine power technology, most of them at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, where the world’s biggest commercial wave power farm is now being developed.

Over £4m in funding will go to a development project that involves arranging four units of the 750kW Pelamis wave device into a single wave energy array, giving a total output of 3MW.

Scottish deputy first minister Nicol Stephen announced the funding increase and details of the projects that have successfully competed for a share of the money on Monday.

“Today marks a vital milestone in Scotland’s drive to be the world leader in the development of marine renewables,” Nicol Stephen said.

“There are some real Scottish success stories amongst the grant recipients. ScotRenewables is a small and very young company based in Orkney. There is a major Pelamis project involving four machines, which the companies involved hope will proceed in the next 12 months. This will be the world’s biggest commercial wave project – significantly bigger than the major Portuguese scheme.”

“Scotland has the potential to generate a quarter of Europe’s marine energy and kick-starting the sector is vital if we are to create a significant industry based in Scotland and meet our long-term renewables targets.”

The British Wind Energy Association welcomed the funding boost. BWEA CEO Maria McCaffery said: “These funds are an excellent expression of intent by Scotland to become the world leaders in marine renewables.

“Nevertheless, bearing in mind this is a potentially multi billion pound industry, UK governments at all levels must recognise that only by working together and providing the right level of support in order for marine to compete in the market will this potential be realised.”

More details on the European Marine Energy Centre can be found at here.

Goska Romanowicz

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