The Saltire fund will provide support for tidal energy sits alongside the parallel £30 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 is strong in both wave and tideal power technolgies but has seen several high profile failures in the last few years that risk denting the confidence of investors.
“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," Paul Wheelhouse, energy minister for the Scottish government
“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.
“The Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund therefore provides a timely and appropriate approach for the Scottish Government to support the current needs of the sector and to help ensure Scotland’s huge marine energy potential is realised, while my officials and I work with the sector on wider support for innovation and deployment of this exciting technology.”
Full details of the application process and assessment criteria will be made available via the Scottish Government Marine Energy website and applications to the fund will close on 6 December 2019.
Successful projects must focus on the capital costs of developing a material/technical innovation aimed at reducing the cost of tidal energy and be deployed in Scottish water by March 2020, giving a very limited project timescale.
The Scottish Government established the Wave Energy Scotland