Scotland backs MRE with $10m

Scotland is stumping up a further £6m ($10m) to spur on development of new industrial-scale wave and tidal energy prototypes in its waters.

The funding, up for grabs as part of the third round of the 'Waters' research and development scheme, aims to move “leading” marine energy devices to commercial roll-out, while giving a fillip to Scottish supply chain companies to capture a larger share of the emerging UK, European and global wave and tidal sector markets.

“We are at the forefront of developing offshore and low carbon energy generation technology with some of the world’s greatest wind, wave and tidal resources heavily concentrated in the waters around our country,” states energy minister Fergus Ewing.

“This latest funding follows the success of our earlier Waters [rounds] support to help developers bring their devices to full-scale testing. We know that the successful harnessing of ocean power takes hard work and persistence and the Scottish government is determined to support those within the industry.”

The first two rounds of Waters, a collaborative scheme run by business development agency Scottish Enterprise with backing from the Scottish government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and funding from the European Regional Development Fund, injected £14.8m into six marine energy device development programmes.

Wave and tidal power companies based in Scotland are invited to submit project proposals. Priority will be given to applications that support “viable projects enabling full-scale proving of devices that have already been tested at part-scale”, but smaller-scale demonstration projects will also be considered.

Waters is meant to complement other Scottish funding schemes including the £18m Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund, the Renewable Energy Investment Fund and the Saltire Prize.