New wave of marine renewables investment
Five marine energy developers will benefit from £7.9 million funding to further develop testing of new wave and tidal prototypes in the seas around Scotland, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
The second round of WATERS (Wave & Tidal Energy: Research, Development & Demonstration Support) funding is to enable Scottish developers and supply chain firms to capture an increased share of the growing international marine energy market, which could be worth up to £4 billion to Scotland’s economy by 2020.
Among the recipients is Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd – awarded a £1.2 million grant towards a £9.24 million project to design, construct and install a two-megawatt SR 2000 commercial-scale floating tidal turbine.
Ms Sturgeon viewed the company’s SR 250 (kW) tidal turbine prototype in Kirkwall on Tuesday as part of the Scottish Government’s Summer Cabinet engagements in Orkney this week.
The Deputy First Minister said:
“Ambitious clean-tech developers such as Scotrenewables Tidal Power, and the prototypes they are developing are testament to how far the marine renewables sector has progressed in just a few years.
"The Scottish Government is very pleased to be supporting these five exciting wave and tidal projects through this funding. The WATERS 2 funding sends a further clear signal that Scotland – already blessed with some of the world’s greatest concentrations of marine energy resource and with unrivalled offshore energy engineering expertise – will continue to provide the optimum research and investment environment for developers and commercial partners.
“By supporting a range of wave and tidal technologies at various stages of development towards commercialisation and the goal of large-scale sea-powered electricity generation, we can stimulate innovation, investment, job creation and help protect the planet for future generations.”
Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd business development manager, John McGlynn, said:
“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has awarded Scotrenewables Tidal Power £1.24m in WATERS 2 funds – this grant award has played a vital role in allowing us to leverage a very significant amount of foreign private investment into the Highlands and Islands.
"We intend to announce further details on this in the near future. This funding will allow us to progress to the next stage in the development of our floating tidal technology and is a major step on the road to making the company a real marine renewable energy success story.”
The other WATERS 2 grant awards are:
AlbaTERN – deployment of WaveNET demonstrator array comprising six SQUID 7.5kW wave energy converters – £617,000 grant towards £1.3 million total project cost.
AWS Ocean Energy – design, build and launch stages of a project to prove the AWS-III WEC at full scale – £3.9 million grant towards £15.6 million project cost.
Nautricity – build and testing of a full-scale, pre-commercial CoRMaT 500kW tidal turbine – £1.4 million grant towards £4.9 million total project cost.
Oceanflow Development – build and field-test of quarter-scale prototype twin-turbine tidal energy converter, Evopod TE70 - £750,000 grant towards £1.3 million total project cost.
John Findlay, chief executive officer of AlbaTERN Ltd, said:
“The securing of this WATERS 2 grant is a significant plank in our current project to demonstrate the real potential of our lower cost WaveNET devices, and allow wave energy to compete commercially alongside other ways of generating power.
"We are very pleased that the hard work put in by our technical team in this stiff competition has been rewarded with this support, and we look forward to progressing towards the larger grid scale devices that will follow from this work.”
Simon Grey, chief executive of AWS, said:
“We are delighted to be awarded this grant for work which will follow on directly from the full-scale cassette testing funded by the WATERS 1 programme.
"This continued support provides further endorsement of our technology and development approach and re-affirms Scotland as the place to make wave energy happen."
Cameron Johnstone, chief executive officer of Nautricity Limited, said:
“Nautricity welcomes the Deputy First Minister’s announcement of the launch of the Waters 2 programme, further demonstrating Scotland as the vanguard of next generation wave and tidal energy.
"This award accelerates Nautricity’s business development by facilitating the commercial demonstration of its CoRMaT technology; thus providing a springboard for both domestic and international market development."
Graeme Mackie, managing director of Oceanflow Development Limited, said:
“The WATERS 2 funding support from Scottish Enterprise is a great boost to the further development of our Evopod tidal turbine system, allowing us to take the next step of demonstrating our floating platform technology supporting twin turbines for lower unit cost of power.
"The company’s success in winning funding under both WATERS 1 and 2 is a positive statement about our technology demonstration capabilities.”
Scottish Enterprise chief executive, Lena Wilson, said:
“Scotland continues to forge ahead in its marine energy innovation, underlining our reputation as a world leader in the renewables industry.
"It’s great to see Scottish companies investing in their business growth through wave and tidal projects and technologies with real global commercial potential.
"These WATERS 2 awards will help create new technologies, R&D jobs, and secure the fabrication and deployment of wave and tidal stream technologies in Scotland.”
Alex Paterson, Chief Executive Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:
“We welcome the announcement of the WATERS 2 funding and congratulate all of the successful companies.
"The Highlands and Islands is already an international leader in the deployment of wave and tidal devices, with more devices at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney than at any other single site in the world.
"This latest round of funding will back the development of the marine energy industry across Scotland and further support the deployment of wave and tidal devices at EMEC and throughout Scottish waters.”
The rough seas around Scotland’s coast provide some of the greatest concentrated wave and tidal resources in the world – presenting, also, considerable challenges for development, installation and operation of marine energy technologies, and hence high development costs.
Many marine energy device companies are balancing their efforts in developing viable technology with the need to pursue and raise investment capital.
WATERS is a collaborative venture between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). During the initial round of WATERS funding in 2010, four marine energy projects across Scotland were awarded £6 million.