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£6 million wave and tidal energy fund launched

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The marine and tidal energy sector is to benefit from £6 million in funding to further develop testing of new wave and tidal prototypes in the seas around Scotland.

This is the second round of the remaining competitive funding from the initial WATERS £13 million fund which was launched by Scottish Enterprise in March 2010.

The WATERS 2 fund aims to reduce the cost of developing wave and tidal technologies and promote research and development activities in Scotland focussing on bringing low-cost-energy marine energy devices to commercial application.

“New technologies with global potential”

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said, “With £6 million to award, we can help advanced wave and tidal technologies reach the next stage of commercial exploitation – creating new technologies with global potential, R&D jobs, and secure the fabrication and deployment of wave and tidal stream technologies in Scotland.

“Over the past couple of years we have committed over £19 million from Scottish Enterprise to marine energy development – through our WATERS and WATERS 2 calls, and working in partnership with other public bodies, such as our investment in the Technology Strategy Board’s Marine Energy collaborative R&D call last month.”

The overall aim of the WATERS 2 funding is to enable Scottish developers and supply chain companies to capture an increased share of the growing UK, European and global marine energy market which could release £4 billion for Scotland’s economay by 2020.

Developing these emerging marine and tidal technologies is extremely challenging and development costs are high, with many companies balancing developing and readying their technologies with the need to pursue and raise investment capital to keep their businesses and devices afloat.

It is hoped that WATERS 2 funding can play a vital role in attracting match funding for these technologies, particularly for the demonstration projects which are vital to the sector’s credibility and longer term growth, and establishing Scotland as a leader in wave and tidal energy development.

“Scotland rules the waves!”

First Minister Alex Salmond added, “Scotland is leading the world in the development of marine renewable energy. A wide range of both Scottish firms and major overseas companies such as Alstom, ABB, E.ON, Vattenfall and Kawasaki are investing in the development and testing of wave and tidal generation technologies in Scottish waters. It is increasingly clear that Scotland rules the waves!

“This latest funding round follows the success of our earlier WATERS support to help developers bring their devices to full-scale testing”

The fund opens for applications on Monday 13 February 2012 and full information can be found at the Scottish Enterprise website

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