Scotland possesses huge wave and tidal energy resources and the potential exists to generate more electricity than we currently need from the waters around the Scottish coast.
The Crown Estate's report of 2012, UK Wave and Tidal Key Resource Areas Project, found that Scottish waters offer the majority of the UK’s wave resources (46 TWh/year) and significant tidal stream resources (32 TWh/year).
Some of the best resources are located off the north-west coast and northern tip of Scotland. The Scottish Government believes that wave and tidal energy will make a very important contribution towards meeting our future demand for electricity.
Our flagship European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) celebrated ten years of real-sea experience in 2013. There have been more grid-connected marine energy converters deployed at EMEC than at any other single site in the world, and the centre remains the world’s only accredited marine energy laboratory.
The Scottish Government’s £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) offers a tailored approach for wave energy and is complemented by support for the enabling technologies that are crucial to the success of the earliest wave and tidal arrays. In February 2014, Scotland’s energy minister announced that five marine energy projects will share funding of £2.8 million from the MRCF innovation call to help to reduce costs and risks associated with early wave and tidal arrays.
The £103m Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) was set up to ensure counterpart finance is in place to help marine and other green energy projects become commercially viable. In February 2014, Atlantis Resources Corporation were awarded £500,000 from REIF, as part of a £2 million investment package to establish an engineering and project management hub in Edinburgh. In March 2014, Oceanflow Energy were awarded £150,000 from REIF as part of a £300,000 investment package to further develop its tidal device, Evopod.
The £6 million third round of WATERS funding was launched on 3 April 2014 to help further develop testing of new wave and tidal energy prototypes in the seas around Scotland. This latest round follows the success of WATERS 1 and 2 where six marine energy developers benefitted from £14.8 million.
On 2 April 2014 SSE Renewables transferred and Agreement for Lease to DP Marine Energy making it the largest tidal developer in Europe.
The Ocean Energy Forum is the first step of an action plan launched by Commissioner’s Oettinger and Damanaki earlier this year to accelerate the commercialisation of the ocean energy sector. It will run from 2014 to 2016. The first convening of the Forum took place in Brussels on 4 April 2014.