Scottish wave power gets funding bump

Wave energy in Scotland will be boosted by £14.3m in funding over the next 13 months, thanks to new funding from the Scottish Government

Energy Minister Fergus Ewing announced today that Wave Energy Scotland (WES) – the industry’s new technology development group – will receive £1.3m for the remainder of this financial year, and £13m in 2015/16. 

The expanding budget will allow the body to address a range of technical issues including power-take off systems, control systems and moorings and foundations. It will also enable WES to recruit a small staff team – around 10 to 12 employees – and an industry-led advisory group.

Ewing said: “This is the biggest technology development programme the wave sector has ever seen.

“We have adopted a completely new approach to funding the sector. It is one that will foster collaborative research and development and will encourage technology developers to work with large engineering companies, academics and each other to address shared challenges.

“As Professor Stephen Salter, the founding father of wave energy, said, “‘Developers need to be in alliance with each other against the hazards of the sea rather than fighting one another for inadequate funding’.”

Scottish Renewables welcomed the announcement, adding that collaboration was key to the commercialisation of wave power. “This money will enable WES to continue the development of wave energy in Scotland and build upon the global lead we enjoy by funding work on some of the key challenges commonly encountered by technology developers,” said the organisation’s senior policy manager for offshore wind and marine, Lindsay Leask.


In related news, the Carbon Trust today announced the successful trial of CableFish – a new technology which could lower installation costs for offshore technologies (both wind and wave) by 75%.

The CableFish is attached to subsea power cables pre-installation, and carries the cables down to the seabed. It allows for installation in tides up to 6 knots, triple the current limit.

Carbon Trust innovation director Andrew Lever said: “The successful sea trial of CableFish is a great example of collaborative innovation, which has demonstrated tangible cost reduction to support first tidal technology arrays and in doing so further progresses the marine sector towards commercialisation.”

Earlier today, edie analysed two new reports which called for “unified vision” and “sustained financial support” to help the commercialisation of wave power. One of those reports, from the Marine Energy Programme Board called for a £300m investment package, claiming that wave power could add £4bn to the UK economy by 2050.

Brad Allen

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