A £10 million (US$12.9 million) fund will target support to achieving commercial deployment of tidal energy generation in Scottish waters through driving innovation and reduction in the cost of electricity generated, according to the Scottish Government.
This concentrated support for tidal energy sits alongside the parallel £30 million (US$38.6 million) committed to date by the Scottish Government to Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and a further £10 million proposed for WES in 2019/20.
“Scotland continues to lead the world in developing and supporting marine energy technology, with the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney recognized as a global center of excellence,” said Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s energy minister. “We believe that tidal energy can not only play an important role in our own future energy system, but it has substantial export potential. The industry has taken momentous steps forward in recent years, and we are proud to have supported that, but the path to commercialization is taking longer, and proving more difficult, than initially expected. The investment climate has been harmed by the UK Government’s decision in 2016 to remove a ring-fenced subsidy for marine energy and by the parallel uncertainties caused by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.”
Wheelhouse said the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund provides a “timely and appropriate approach” for the government to support the current needs of the sector and to help ensure Scotland’s huge marine energy potential is realized.
Successful projects must:
- Relate to the capital costs of developing a material/technical innovation aimed at reducing the cost of tidal energy
- Demonstrate the requirement for, and added value of, Scottish Government support
- Be deployed in Scottish waters no later than March 2020
- Demonstrate potential to have a positive social and economic impact on Scotland including collaboration across the Scottish supply chain