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By Martin Kelly
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.
Announcing the investment, 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.
Welcoming his own firm's grant, 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 £7.9 million investment will see three tidal energy and two wave energy developers create and test prototype devices in the seas around Scotland. Other firms to benefit from the funding include:
Commenting, SNP MSP Mike MacKenzie who sits on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee described the awards as further proof of the power of renewables to reindustrialise Scotland.
Mr MacKenzie said: “There are already more than 11,000 people employed in jobs linked to Scotland’s renewables industry and I am confident there are significantly more to come.
“Key to bringing these jobs and investments is for Scotland to be at the forefront of innovation, which why these projects are so important.
“The long-term boost to our economy that these technological developments could bring simply cannot be underestimated.
“There are billions of pounds and thousands of jobs up for grabs and the SNP is determined that Scotland should be at the forefront of grasping these.”
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, offered his congratulations to the successful companies and added: "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.
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