A £10 million fund will target commercial deployment of tidal energy generation in Scottish waters through driving innovation and reduction in the cost of electricity.
This concentrated support for tidal energy sits alongside the parallel £30 million committed to date by the SNP Government to Wave Energy Scotland (WES), and a further £10 million proposed for WES in 2019/20.
The SNP Government established WES in 2014 to support innovation and avoid duplication in addressing the technical challenges of reliability, survivability, performance and affordability.
The original Saltire Prize for wave and tidal technologies ran from 2008 to 2017. Now it has been narrowed to focus solely on tidal technologies, and renamed the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.
Scotland’s Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP said:
“Scotland continues to lead the world in developing and supporting marine energy technology, with the European Marine Energy Centre on Orkney recognised as a global centre of excellence. 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 commercialisation 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.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“As indicated in its 2019/20 Programme for Government, the SNP Government continues to work towards a globally competitive renewable energy sector delivering secure, affordable and clean energy to all of us.
“Only last week, a joint agreement to tackle climate change was signed by the First Minister and the Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy. The two administrations agreed to share experience and best practices on tackling climate change, work with like-minded countries, states and regions to increase ambition on climate change and promote business and economic opportunities created by the transition to a low carbon economy.
“In April 2017, the First Minister signed an agreement with the Governor of California, which has led to the sharing of expertise and development around offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.
“The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund provides an opportunity for the SNP Government to support the current needs of the sector and help ensure Scotland’s huge marine energy potential is realised.”
To be successful for support under the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund, 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, SNP Government support;
be deployed in Scottish waters no later than March 2020; and
demonstrate potential to have a positive social and economic impact on Scotland including collaboration across the Scottish supply chain.
Applications to the fund will close on 6 December 2019.
For further information and to apply, visit: Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.